Missouri Governor Mike Parson should try again to pass a gas tax for crumbling Missouri highways

A lot of governors would run from the idea of pursuing another costly road fix. That’s why we appreciate this governor standing firm. In his State of the State address, Parson proposed borrowing $351 million to repair or replace 250 bridges across the state.

Parson recognizes that Missouri can’t just walk away from the issue. The state’s highways and bridges are too valuable. Remember: With nearly 34,000 miles, Missouri has the country’s seventh-largest highway system. With 10,000 bridges, it ranks sixth in the country. And yet its 17-cents-a-gallon gas tax is the 49th-lowest in the country. Parson is correct: We must take care of what we’ve got.

Given his options, borrowing the money is a reasonable choice. But that adds to the state’s debt and to the price tag for this already costly work through interest payments.