JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — The chairman of a task force examining funding for Missouri’s transportation system is suggesting both a gasoline and diesel tax increase.

State Rep. Kevin Corlew, R-Kansas City, suggests a six to ten-cent gasoline tax increase, along with a seven to 12-cent diesel tax increase.

“In terms of an immediate impact investment yes, that’s something that could really boost our revenue and enable us to really help out our infrastructure system,” Corlew says. “But that will be just one component of it.”

Testimony indicates raising the state gasoline and diesel taxes in those ranges would raise anywhere from $250 million to $410 million annually.

Corlew tells Missourinet the task force is also looking at some “sustainable revenue streams” for the future.

Missouri’s fuel tax hasn’t been increased since 1996. The state’s gasoline and diesel tax are both currently 17-cents a gallon.

If the Legislature approves a gasoline and/or diesel tax increase proposal in 2018, the issue would go before Missourians on the statewide ballot, likely in November.

The influential Missouri House Transportation Committee chairman says while truckers oppose toll roads, they support increasing the state’s gasoline tax.

State Rep. Bill Reiboldt, R-Neosho, tells Missourinet there’s a lot of truckers in his southwest Missouri district.

“Obviously they do most of the damage on the roads, to the roads, and they’re good with raising the fuel tax on diesel to perhaps 12 (additional cents),” says Reiboldt.

Reiboldt serves on the 21st century Missouri transportation system task force, which will submit its recommendations to the full Legislature by January 1.

Meantime, voters in eastern Missouri’s Warrenton have approved two citywide sales tax increases to fund a new interchange at Interstate 70 there.

State Rep. Greg Razer, D-Kansas City, complains Warrenton citizens had to pay to improve a state-owned asset, because the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) doesn’t have the resources to do it itself.

“Because we (Missouri lawmakers in Jefferson City) haven’t had the political will to fund MoDOT appropriately, the city of Warrenton had to take it upon themselves to fix our problem,” Razer says.

Razer tells Missourinet that “sounds like passing the buck” to him.

Razer and State Rep. Bart Korman, R-High Hill, raised the issue during Wednesday’s transportation task force hearing in Columbia.

Representative Razer notes Missouri ranks 47th in the nation in revenue per mile. He believes Missourians will approve a transportation tax increase, when they learn about the current status.

(Brian Hauswirth, Missourinet)