Gas tax increase wins initial approval in Missouri Senate

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) – The Missouri Senate has agreed on a plan to raise the state’s fuel tax by nearly six cents per gallon to pay for road and bridge projects.

Senators endorsed the proposal Wednesday. The plan would also require voter approval.

Bill sponsor Sen. Doug Libla faced some opposition from fellow Republicans who said the Transportation Department needs to use its current funding more efficiently.

Libla said Missouri’s infrastructure needs drastic repairs the state cannot currently afford, and a fuel tax increase would provide a more predictable funding stream than any other alternative.

Missouri’s current fuel tax of 17 cents is among the lowest in the country.

The legislation needs another vote to move to the House.