State Rep. Jeff Messenger, chair of the Missouri House Policy Development Caucus, held a town hall on transportation funding on Tuesday in Kirksville.
Missouri legislators will likely consider increasing user fees and placing tolls on existing interstates at state entrances in an effort to increase funding for the Missouri Department of Transportation.
State Rep. Jeff Messenger (R-130), chair of the Missouri House Policy Development Caucus, held a town hall on transportation funding on Tuesday in Kirksville. Caucus members Rep. Nate Walker (R-3) and Rep. Mike Moon (R-157) also participated with the presentation.
The event was a part of a series of town halls the caucus members will host to gain feedback on transportation funding ideas and potentially use that in future legislation.
“Our job in PDC was to take on the hard issues and the very first issue we took was transportation,” Messenger said. “We’re going to run something through the legislature this year to try and get off the fence so we can start moving.”
Currently, MoDOT receives about $2.4 billion in total revenue each year, with about $911 million coming from the federal government through funding programs. About $1.4 billion of the revenue comes from user fees, like car titles, registration and drivers’ license fees.
Of that $2.4 billion, $1.4 billion goes toward state roads and bridges and $408 million goes to cities and counties.
The state of Missouri has 33,873 miles of road that MoDOT manages. Missouri’s current fuel tax is 17 cents per gallon, but has the purchasing power of 8 cents per gallon today, according to MoDOT.
Fees for vehicle registration and drivers’ licenses have not increased since 1984, while some other fees haven’t increased since 1969, Messenger said.
“There’s two issues here: No. 1, we didn’t stay with inflation and No. 2, is we have too many roads,” Messenger…