Should We Raise Taxes to Fund Road Improvements?
Today’s Kansas City Star has a story by Brad Cooper about the efforts of the Missouri Transportation Alliance to generate discussion of the future of transportation funding in Missouri. I commend the MTA for its efforts, but I am concerned that it is focusing too much on simply trying to decide which tax (or taxes, plural) to raise:
The group has looked at various ideas for funding transportation — gas taxes, sales taxes, licensing fees — but hasn’t settled on any ideas that could eventually be taken to voters to approve, McKenna said.
Too little of the discussion appears to be devoted to the question of the role that private financing can play in Missouri — or, put another way, how can the laws be changed to allow for more private financing in Missouri? My own preference is for a dramatic expansion of private financing and tolling for projects both big and medium (it does not really work nearly as well for small projects), along with a small increase in the gas tax. But check out the story in the Star and visit the MTAs web site for more details of their work.