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Breaking down Amendment 7, proposed sales tax increase for road improvements

By Ashley Strohmier, Reporter, ashley.strohmier@kmiz.com
Published On: Aug 06 2014 10:18:30 AM CDT
Updated On: Jul 23 2014 07:13:12 PM CDT

Vote 2014: Breaking down Amendment 7

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -

Amendment 7 will raise the state sales tax by 3/4 of a cent if Missourian's vote yes on Amendment 7 on August 5th.

The question some people are asking is, "Why should I vote yes on a sales tax increase?"

Jewell Patek is the campaign manager for Yes on Amendment 7. 

He said our transportation infrastructure is simply wearing out.

"The average age of a bridge system in the state of Missouri is 46 years old.  I'm not quite 46, but  I can tell you a bridge at 46 starts feeling the pain and the wear and tear,"Patek said.

Patek said Missouri is the 6th state in the nation with the most bridges and said by adding a sales tax will allow a more sustainable way to fund the upkeep of the transportation.

However,  Jeanette Mott Oxford with the Missouri Association of Social Welfare is opposed to raising the sales tax.

"So, if this tax should pass it is the largest tax increase in Missouri history.  It would put us ninth in the nation in terms of our sales tax," said Oxford.

Mott also said this tax will hurt people with low incomes.

Patek pointed out Amendment 7th will not tax the necessities of everyday life, such as groceries and utilities.

Patek said, "We did that primarily for those folks who are on fixed incomes."

Right now, Missouri's transportation system gets funding from the federal and state gas tax, as well as a tax on vehicles.

Mott said she's afraid if the amendment passes, it will drive more people to shop online to get out of having to pay a sales tax.

Patek also said another reason the transportation system needs to revenue from this sales tax increase is because people are buying more fuel efficient vehicles.

The revenue they once relied on from gas tax is not as reliable because of it.

There has been over two million dollars raised to fund Yes on Amendment 7.

Money has been donated from both people in state, as well as out of state.

The sunset on Amendment 7 is ten years.

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