MRPC supports passage of Prop. D

ST. JAMES—Meramec Regional Planning Commission’s board of directors voiced its support for Proposition D, a fuel tax increase, at its Oct. 11 meeting. MRPC’s Transportation Advisory Committee met earlier in the day and went on record in support of Prop. D and recommended the MRPC board support the ballot issue also.

Proposition D — the statutory referendum to increase the state fuel tax by 2.5-cents annually for four years — would generate an additional $4 million for Meramec counties and cities to use for streets, roads and bridges. This estimate is based on 2017 fuel usage.

Statewide, Prop D would generate an estimated $412 million in new revenue when fully phased in 2022. Of that, 70 percent is allocated to the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) interstates, highways, bridges and state law enforcement while 15 percent is allocated to counties and 15 percent is allocated to cities.

Some members present commented that the ballot language is confusing, but stated that supporting the proposition would be a good thing for the cities and counties.  Another concern that members stated they were hearing consistently is that the funds would not be allocated properly.

Executive Director Bonnie Prigge stated that these funds are already constitutionally mandated on how the funds are distributed and would follow the same planning process whereby transportation needs are identified and then prioritized at the regional level.

From there, the MRPC board approves the prioritized needs and sends its recommendation to MoDOT for consideration in the Statewide Transportation Improvement Program.

“Most of the needs in our region are safety-related, and there are far more needs than there are dollars,” Prigge said after the meeting. “Prop D would allow more road and bridge projects to be accomplished each year, and it provides more dollars for our cities and counties to address road and bridge issues.”