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Lawmakers demand credibility from the transportation department before considering more tax increases

April 17, 2001
By: Erin Guyer
State Capital Bureau

Gas and sales tax increases are one solution on the table for improving Missouri roads...but the plan raises questions about past attempts to improve roads. Erin Guyer has more from the State Capitol.

Story:Guyer
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OutCue: SOC

Roads in need of repair and concerns about highway safety across Missouri are the target of a bill that would increase gas and sales tax. But even those concerned about highway safety aren't sure the tax increase will do much to fix roads. Bill opponents point to unsuccessful plans to improve roadways and doubt the transportation department's credibility in using the money effectively. Bill sponsor Senator Harry Wiggins says the focus shouldn't be on past transportation problems.

Actuality:wig1.wav
RunTime: :17
OutCue: "...want to fix our roads."


Contents: Wiggins says the issue isn't past mistakes in transportation, but whether or not the public will be allowed to vote on future improvements.

The current proposal would raise approximately 702-million dollars for road improvements mostly from gas and sales tax increases.


Road safety and repairs take center stage as a Senate committee listens to a proposal that would improve roadways, but cost taxpayers close to 5-hundred million dollars in new taxes. Erin Guyer has more from the State Capitol.

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OutCue: SOC

State legislators may agree on one issue: Missouri highways need repair. But how to get those improvements is an issue lawmakers disagree heavily on. A proposal before a senate hearing committee would increase gas and sales taxes to fund repairs. But some lawmakers say plans have failed before and want to see more credibility before investing new money.

Charles Kruse, head of the Missouri Farm Bureau, wants more specifics before supporting tax increases.

Actuality:Charles2.wav
RunTime: :09
OutCue: "...money would be spent."
Contents: Kruse says the current plan offers no specifics and cannot justify the tax increases.

The bill currently reflects the governor's transporation plan and will head to the Senate if approved by committee.

From Jefferson City, I'm Erin Guyer...KMOX News.