SE Missouri Area lawmakers: Gas tax still an option to fund road and bridge projects

Missouri voters last week rejected a measure to increase the fuel tax, but the state Legislature could raise the tax next year without putting the issue back before voters, area lawmakers said Monday.

Under the state’s Hancock Amendment, tax and fee hikes raising revenue below a certain level don’t require voter approval.

State Sen. Wayne Wallingford, R-Cape Girardeau, said lawmakers could consider raising the fuel tax incrementally and keep it under the Hancock Amendment threshold.

A 2-cent increase in the fuel tax could generate an estimated $80 million annually.

Voters defeated a proposed sales tax issue for roads and bridges in 2014 and then turned down Proposition D earlier this month.