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Mo. Amendment 7 Ads Long on Emotion, Short on Information

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- The August 5 election is fast approaching and political groups are now letting their ads do the talking.
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- The August 5 election is fast approaching and political groups are now letting their ads do the talking.

One from a group in favor of Missouri Amendment 7 has released its ads.  You've likely seen the ad that features paramedics and construction workers saying roads in better repair keep Missouri's family safe.

While the ad is long on emotion, using the safety of the families that use Missouri roads, it's short on factual information. Here is where the rubber meets the road on Amendment 7.

A man in the ad says: "On August 5 we have a chance to fix what's broken again".

This is a commercial about a proposed sales tax, but in the 30-second ad the word tax is never mentioned.

The Amendment 7 ballot language reads:

"Should the Missouri Constitution be changed to enact a temporary sales tax of three-quarters of one percent to be used solely to fund state and local highways, roads, bridges and transportation projects for ten years."

The tax would sunset after 10 years and would have to be renewed by voters.

Proponents say that would be an additional $480 million dollars annually for big highway projects.

KOLR10 News spoke to Missouri Department of Transportation Chief Engineer Ed Hassinger. Hassinger says MODOT can neither endorse nor oppose Amendment 7.

But, Hassinger says MoDot did have to produce a 10 year project list prioritizing projects for each region in the state.

"For southwest Missouri, if the amendment did pass, major projects include extending the 3rd lane on Highway 65 south," says Hassinger. "Improvements to James River Expressway, improvements on Highway 60 to Monett." 

And that also includes six hundred and 75 miles of resurfacing projects on more rural roads. As well as projects for rail, airport and 43 bridge projects.

Opponents say the three quarters of a cent tax would be added on top of already existing state and local taxes and the poor would bare the largest burden.

Medicines, groceries and gasoline would not be taxed.

Missouri voters will decide whether or not this sell was effective on August 5th.

KOLR10 News also took a look at the contributors behind the pro Amendment 7 push. Not surprisingly, many of the contributors are engineers, construction firms and asphalt paving companies.

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