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Could Kansas City pass its own gas tax?

Posted at 5:25 PM, Dec 04, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-04 18:32:49-05

Kansas City, Mo.  –  The push to raise the gas tax in Missouri failed in November, but city leaders raised the question this week about whether Kansas City can pass its own gas tax increase. 

Missouri has one of the lowest gas taxes in the country. In November, the vote to raise the tax failed by more than 100,000 votes. In Kansas City, it failed by 5,000 votes.

“Nobody wants to pay more for anything, taxes or just in general. Nobody is seeing any results, we are going to improve the roads, but no one ever sees anything being done,” Matt Wells said.

Both Republican and Democratic politicians supported the push to raise the gas tax, but voters said no.

In a city meeting on Tuesday, leaders questioned whether Kansas City could raise the gas tax on its own. The answer is yes.

Some Kansas City drivers support the idea of the city increasing its gas tax. 

“We already have the lowest gas tax so it wouldn't be bad if it is going on the roads, if that is what they will use it for,” James Simpson said.

But others strongly disagree.

“I don't believe so. I think taxation is theft and we shouldn't have as many taxes as we have now. They should be managing their money better than they are doing now,” Jamie Bryan said.

There has not been a formal proposal to put the issue before voters. Councilman and finance chair Scott Wagner said that it's not likely the issue will be put on a ballot anytime soon. 

“As far as today's discussion was to point out yeah, we could do it. But I think there are so many things that would have to happen to perfectly align that the opportunity for that is slight,” Wagner said.

“I think for it to be possible we need to have a conversation with the Legislature to lower the threshold as voters are concerned,” he added.