With less than eight weeks until the August vote, supporters and opponents of Missouri’s proposed $5 billion transportation sales tax have spent this month frantically preparing their campaigns. The outcome is difficult to predict because of a strange mix of supporters and opponents.
Gov. Jay Nixon opposes the 3/4 cent sales tax increase, as does the Show-Me Institute, a think tank funded by St. Louis billionaire Rex Sinquefield. The AFL-CIO in Kansas City has linked arms with the Missouri Chamber of Commerce to back the tax. The liberal Missouri Association for Social Welfare filed a lawsuit against the tax measure last week, alleging its ballot language understates the levy’s impact on the poor. They’re on the same side as the right-leaning Missouri Alliance for Freedom.
“I can’t remember the last time I’ve seen such alliance-crossing,” said Woody Overton, a consultant and a veteran of Missouri politics. “It’s going to be a difficult campaign.”