Letters: Readers discuss Missouri’s gas tax, a White House loose cannon and Jayh…

Transit funds

The General Assembly established the 21st Century Missouri Transportation System Task Force in response to the lack of transportation funding in the state. This 23-member, bipartisan panel evaluated this issue, listened to Missourians’ transportation needs and concerns and released a recommendation earlier this month. It calls for an increase in state gas tax revenues and the creation of a dedicated revenue stream of $50 to $70 million for transit and other multimodal transportation.

If passed by both the legislature and Missouri voters, there would be 10-cent and 12-cent hikes in gas and diesel fuel taxes, respectively. However, this dedicated stream of funding for transit and other multimodal transportation would not require additional taxation.

It proposes a revision of Missouri’s Timely Filing Discount, which allows retailers to retain 2 percent of the sales and use taxes collected from customers if they remit those taxes to the state in a timely manner. This vendor discount is uncapped, and it cost Missourians about $115 million in 2016.

The Missouri Public Transit Association is encouraged by the task force’s recommendation. Although the plan may come with challenges, it is on the right track for transit and multimodal funding.

Kimberly Cella

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