The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Opinion

April 17, 2014

Other Views: Funding for state’s roads

— Missouri is finding there is no good alternative to growing the economy, adding new well-paying jobs and expanding the tax base.

This is particularly true when it comes to how to pay for such necessities as modern roads and bridges, which underpin the economy. The answer lies in spreading the costs now, then tapping into the growth in tax revenues in the future.

Our system for funding road upkeep and improvements has been broken for some time. And of this there is no doubt: Improvements are overdue.

We are not fans of one radical thought, which would be to save costs by simply turning hundreds of miles of state-maintained roadways over to local governments. Rural residents almost certainly would see a cost shift that would disproportionately drive up their taxes and force reductions in their services. Either that, or the roads would deteriorate and these areas would be cut off from future economic growth.

The truth is much of northwest Missouri has promise today precisely because roads exist to connect our smaller communities to larger ones. Just as significantly, changes in communications and technologies have made our rural areas more viable — but only if they have adequate infrastructure, including safe roads.

One proposal floated in the Legislature seems clearly insufficient. Estimates say this idea of raising the gas tax by 3 cents on every gallon, along with a higher increase in the tax on diesel fuel, would produce $180 million annually. But this would provide only about one-fourth of the money required in coming years for road maintenance and improvements.

A cautious, divided Missouri House of Representatives has advanced a proposal to have voters approve a 1-cent sales tax increase that would generate $800 million annually for transportation during the 10 years it would be in effect. The proposed constitutional amendment will be on the November ballot if the Senate goes along. Last year, in a similar scenario, it did not.

This past week, advocates for our region descended on Jefferson City to press our concerns, with transportation needs at the top of the list. They heard about the penny sales tax proposal, ideas for tolls along Interstate 70 and possible increases in fuel taxes.

Hardly any of these options are appealing. Still, a solution is needed, it needs to be fair to rural areas, and it needs to move forward soon.

— St. Joseph News-Press

1
Text Only
Opinion
  • Our View.jpg Our View: Lone holdout

    Missouri continues to be the only state in the United States that won’t allow a prescription drug database to be established.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Anson Burlingame, guest columnist: Much has changed in U.S. over 14 years

    Does anyone recall the major economic argument during the 2000 presidential campaign between George Bush and Al Gore?

    July 22, 2014

  • Our View: Vote no on Amendment 1

    Proponents of Amendment 1 — the Right to Farm Act — have not made their case. We’ve met with advocates of this amendment to the Missouri constitution and listened to their arguments, but we don’t believe they have adequately answered the central question: Who is it protecting, and from what?

    July 13, 2014

  • Your View: Amendment 5 is deception of the highest order

    Amendment 5, sponsored by Missouri Sen. Kurt Schaefer, R-Columbia, “relating to the right of Missouri citizens to keep and bear arms” provides that “any restriction on these rights shall be subject to strict scrutiny.”

    July 21, 2014

  • Other Views Other Views: No time to turn away

    With the shooting down of a commercial airliner over Ukraine and fighting that has now escalated to a ground war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza, it would be easy for most U.S. citizens to throw up their hands and turn their backs.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Your View: Power to defend

    The Globe’s editorial ‘More guns not the answer’ (July 15) was saturated with classic progressive blather.

    July 21, 2014

  • Your View: Thanks for the generosity

    Generally, all we hear about is the bad news, and obviously, there is plenty available. Our church felt this event worthy of public knowledge.

    July 21, 2014

  • Your View: How to upgrade your business

    Let’s see now. When some folks wish to improve the exterior of their properties and have other taxpayers pay for the improvements, they create a community improvement district.

    July 21, 2014

  • Our View.jpg Our view: Street smarts

    If your daily commute has been shortened because you no longer have to wait at 26th Street and Connecticut Avenue for a train to pass, thank your own tax dollars.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Other Views Other Views: Decision fails test

    With the announcement that the State Board of Education has decided not to release individual school test results because of cyberattacks and other problems this spring, educators are scratching their heads, as are taxpayers who footed the bill.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

Local News
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Poll

Do you think Missouri should pass legislation that would allow a prescription drug database to be kept?

A. Yes.
B. No.
     View Results
Facebook
NDN Video
Raw: Lawmakers Scuffle in Ukraine's Parliament The Rock Finds His Inner 'Hercules' Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die Raw: MH17 Passenger Remains in Kharkiv, Ukraine Raw: Israel Hits Gaza Targets, Destroys Mosques ShowBiz Minute: Hoffman, Oberst, Box Office WWII Vet Gets Medals, 70 Years Late Raw: Israel Bombs Multiple Targets in Gaza Veteran Creates Job During High Unemployment Raw: Cargo Craft Undocks From Space Station Widow: Jury Sent Big Tobacco a $23B Message New Orleans Plans to Recycle Cigarette Butts UN Security Council Calls for MH 17 Crash Probe Obama Bestows Medal of Honor on NH Veteran Texas Sending National Guard Troops to Border Hopkins to Pay $190M After Pelvic Exams Taped Foxx Cites Washington 'Circus Mirror' NASA Ceremony Honors Moon Walker Neil Armstrong
Sports