July 2, 2014
By Jim Moore
A proposed amendment to the Missouri Constitution on the Aug. 5 primary ballot would increase the state sales and use tax in the interest of upgrading the state transportation infrastructure, including airports. The ballot would exclude purchases that are currently exempt from state sales and use taxes.
State lawmakers have approved Amendment 7, which would increase the tax by 0.75 percent annually for 10 years, starting in 2015—an increased levy that is expected to generate $5.4 billion for a long list of transportation improvements. The funds will be spent on locally designated projects, and the state Department of Transportation has posted a detailed list of proposed projects online, all subject to citizen and community input in various public meetings. More than 40 such meetings have drawn more than 2,000 people, with additional one-on-one meetings held with key stakeholders. More than 700 comments have been submitted through the Moving Forward website. The public comment period closes July 3, with a final list of projects to be sent to state transportation officials July 9 for approval.
AOPA has identified two dozen airport projects on the draft list, with a total estimated cost of $40 million. AOPA continues to work with Missouri Department of Transportation and other state officials as the infrastructure plans are finalized; pilots and AOPA members in Missouri are encouraged to review the draft project list and confirm that airports in their area that could benefit from safety enhancements and other upgrades have made the list. Comments can be submitted online to state officials, and those who choose to comment are asked to email a copy to AOPA. Local airport managers should also be alerted to any issues with the state’s draft project list.
The proposed amendment calls for 90 percent of the new tax revenue to be deposited into an account controlled by the Missouri Department of Transportation, with the remaining 10 percent split between county and municipal transportation funds.
AOPA Online Associate Editor Jim Moore joined AOPA in 2011 and is an instrument-rated private pilot who enjoys competition aerobatics.
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