Missouri lawmakers and transportation officials have long complained about inadequate funding for repairing roads and bridges across the state, but the House on Wednesday struck down a proposal supporters said could have helped mitigate the problem.
The House voted 51-103 to scrap an amendment raising the state’s gas tax by nearly 6 cents per gallon, pending voter approval in 2018. The proposal was largely along party lines with only 11 Republicans supporting the amendment.
The tax hike would’ve been added to a bill that won initial approval Wednesday allowing the state to tax propane-fueled vehicles.
Lawmakers have floated proposals to generate more revenue for roads and bridges, including toll roads and sales taxes, but so far none have stuck. Amendment sponsor Rep. Greg Razer, a Democrat, said his proposal would help put more money into much-needed infrastructure improvements.
Missouri has the seventh-largest highway system in the country, but ranks 47th in revenue per mile. It also has one of the lowest fuel taxes in the nation and more miles of state highways than Iowa, Nebraska and Kansas combined, according to the Missouri Department of Transportation.