KANSAS CITY, Mo. — This Tuesday, voters in Missouri will decide whether to raise the gas tax in a proposition lawmakers and the governor say will better fund road repair projects and the state's highway patrol.
If passed, Proposition D would raise the gas tax from 17 cents per gallon to 27 cents per gallon over a four-year period. Most of the money generated from the tax would go directly toward funding the Missouri State Highway Patrol.
As it is now, money from the Missouri Department of Transportation's budget pays for highway patrol. If MoDOT didn't have to pay for the highway patrol, it would dedicate those funds to bridge and road repairs and projects.
Part of the proposal sets aside money for each county and city in Missouri to use for road projects on the local level.
A group advocating for Prop D to pass, Safer Mo, said the Kansas City district would receive $2.1 billion over ten years for road work in the nine-county district if voters approve Prop D. That money would pay for 223 bridge repairs and keep more than 4,000 miles of highway lanes in good condition.
Missouri's gas tax is the 49th lowest in the United States, but the state has the 7th largest system of bridges and roads in the country. Kansas charges 24 cents per gallon of gasoline in taxes.
Voters told 41 Action News they have a hard time swallowing a tax increase.
"As soon as I heard 'raise the tax,' I was immediately like 'no.' Then you said it went to the highway patrol people. And they're underpaid. But don't raise taxes on anything, how about that?" Michael Kartsonis said.
Kansas City resident Shorty Walker had a similar thought.
"Every time you turn around, they need more tax for the roads or the schools, this and that," he said. "I want to know where is the money going that is coming from the lottery, from the casinos? Those kinds of things concern me."
Anhelica Bosques drives from Kansas City, Missouri to Olathe, Kansas every day and said she could see herself voting yes on Prop D.
"They'll fix the holes in the street. Maybe they can fix things. If I have to pay more, I want to pay more for a reason, instead of paying more for nothing," she said.
Raytown residents voted down a similar proposal in August's ballot that would have raised the gas tax two cents in that city.