The 21st Century Missouri Transportation System Task Force recommended a three-pronged approach to shore up the state’s ailing transportation system.
In an 87-page report released Monday, task force members called on:
• an immediate investment package;
• a plan for long-term sustainable and diversified transportation funding; and
• project delivery methods involving public-private partnerships.
In Part I of its recommendations, the task force suggested an increase in the state excise tax on gasoline by 10 cents and on diesel by 12 cents per gallon. According to the report, the increased taxes would generate $4.3 billion over 10 years to improve the state’s roads and bridges.
“These adjustments would correct the inflation-driven value loss that has occurred since the motor fuel tax was last raised in Missouri,” the report reads.
The task force - created by the General Assembly in last year’s session - also recommended the legislature consider the implementation of a $50 million to $70 million dedicated revenue stream annually for Missouri’s multimodal transportation needs. That includes aviation, mass transportation and railroads.
Recognizing the rise of electric and automated vehicles, the task force in Part II gave options beyond a gas tax as the transportation system develops over the next 20 years and beyond.
• increased registration fees for electric vehicles;
• excise fees or taxes on electric charging stations;
• fee increases for driver’s licenses, vehicle registrations and other nonfuel transportation user fees;
• highway user fees, such as a motor fuel tax; and
• the dedication of a portion of internet sales taxes for transportation purposes, among other options.
Part III proposals include safety improvements through seat belt and texting laws, as well as innovation via the use of Missouri’s economic advantages and quality of life, according to the report.
“States are using a variety of public-private partnerships to improve efficiency to enable larger, more transformative projects to be completed faster and more economically by leveraging private-sector investment and involvement,” the report reads.
The task force plans to hold seven public hearings and three working sessions statewide from June through December. A meeting is scheduled Aug. 23 at the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce, according to the report.
In August, Springfield Mayor Ken McClure testified before the task force, recommending funding upgrades not involving sales taxes or a switch in roadway responsibilities to the local level.
“We believe fuel taxes, as well as other current and new sources of revenue, are essential to funding the maintenance and improvement of the state transportation system,” McClure said at the time.
Raleigh, North Carolina-based Advance Auto Parts opened its first store in Springfield; Natural Grocers made its Springfield debut; and a business owner with experience in the insurance, financial planning and digital marketing fields entered the restaurant industry.
Marc Thornsberry, a Senior Engineer at CJW, says he joined the company after working in the public sphere. He says CJW had a ton of experience working with the community, and putting their customer's and clients.
Sandra Smart, a technology and commercialization specialist, shares helpful advice and cautionary tips about the importance of tracking cash flow for new or established businesses. Smart works with tech entrepreneurs and hosts training workshops through the Missouri SBDC at Missouri State University's efactory.
Michael Smith and Chris Sawyer, COO and CEO of Next Level Solutions respectively, discuss how they keep their remote teams and offices in and out of country on the same page. Next Level Solutions was ranked #1 in the Springfield Business Journal's 2021 Dynamic Dozen.
John Oke-Thomas, architect and co-founder of minorities in business, responds to the accusation that minority businesses are only successful because of the priority they have received in lending. He says that if a business uses a loan well, it shows their worth.
Sandra Smart, a technology and commercialization specialist, shares tips for entrepreneurs who are ready to seek funding. Some of her tips apply broadly; some target technology industry businesses. Smart works with tech entrepreneurs and startups, and hosts training workshops through the Missouri SBDC at Missouri State University's efactory.
Hollie Elliott discusses common misconceptions about locating your business in a small town. She says that there are a lot of benefits that people may not consider.
Drawing on his own experience dynamically evolving his company and business model, Jim Meinsen discusses when and how you might need to draw on new technology. Jim and Debbie Meinsen are co-owners of TCI Graphics in Springfield.
John Oke-Thomas, longtime Springfield architect, discusses his philosophy on architecture. He says that future historians will be focused on the sustainability of our contemporary architecture.
Erin Hedlun, director of marketing and communications at Evangel University, says compassion is an important job skill. Hedlun says it is a component of what makes a leader.
Rachel Barks, owner of Artistree Pottery, talks about the concepting that went behind the aesthetic of the business.