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Council resolves to support fuel tax increase

The St. Charles County Council passed a resolution supporting the county’s efforts to raise Missouri’s motor fuel tax by two cents a year for three years to provide more money for the Missouri Department of Transportation. Each 2-cent increase would raise $71 million annually.

Councilmembers and County Executive Steve Ehlmann approved the resolution at their April 14 meeting citing concerns that without more money MoDOT may not have enough funding to obtain federal matching funds needed for major road projects. The resolution supports a proposal by MoDOT.

“If we don’t get those matching funds, we might as well sell our scissors because they’re won’t be any major ribbon cuttings for a while,” Ehlmann said.

Bill Schnell, assistant district engineer in the Missouri Department of Transportation’s St. Louis district office, told the council that without additional funding, MoDOT would continue maintenance but not have enough money to continue to add new projects. Declines in gasoline tax revenue, which provides MoDOT with most of its revenue, is to blame, he said.

MoDOT needs $167 million to cover costs for projects it has committed to funding and obtaining federal matching funds.

The state’s 17-cent gasoline tax remains one of the lowest in the nation and hasn’t been raised since 1992.

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