So, what are the solutions? We cannot simply ignore the problem. The proposed 3/4-cent tax would not be levied on food, gasoline, prescription drugs, utilities, healthcare or housing. For a low-income family, the average increase in sales tax would be $21 dollars per year. The proposal is for an increase for a ten-year period only; it would then have to be voted on anew. The counties would receive 5% in addition to their CART money to help with their roads. Proposed projects would benefit nearly county in the state.
I am told there is another solution that the Federal Government is pushing the states to adopt. They would like for us to establish a mileage tax. A yearly inspection would be required before tag renewal and fuel tax would be charged according to how many miles we have driven. Their theory is that then only the people using the roads would be required to pay for them. Needless to say, I am totally against that idea! The point is that we need to find a solution soon and I encourage everyone to get as much information as possible before voting on this amendment. MoDot and others are holding town hall meetings to answer questions and provide facts. I am always happy to answer your questions also.
The Governor announced his latest blackmail attempt this week and didn't even bother trying to disguise his intent. He withheld $1.6 billion dollars from next year's budget. He is required to withhold money from a future budget if there are warning signs that we may fall short of expected revenues. The problem is, he is withholding twice as much as necessary and making sure that funds are withheld from education, children's services, veterans, and pay increases for state workers that have been postponed 5 or more years! He had the audacity to give the Joplin Globe a quote saying that if the Legislature didn't override his vetoes he would restore the money to schools. I don't know how you guys respond to threats and bullying, but I'm pretty sure that a majority of the 200 folks elected to represent you will find that kind of statement a bit objectionable. As I said last week, some of those bills deserve to be vetoed, but there are a few that provide protection for our small businesses that should become law.
I guess I've vented enough for now, more next week. Until then I am and remain in your service.