By Krista Klaus

Citing its economic development benefits, the Lee’s Summit Economic Development Council Board of Directors unanimously voted to endorse Proposition D, the Missouri gas tax increase issue on the November ballot.

“Transportation infrastructure is key to growing local and regional business investment,” said LSEDC President Rick McDowell. “Missouri has one of the lowest fuel taxes in the nation, but the state also has one of the largest highway networks.”

If approved by voters, Prop D would raise the Missouri motor fuel tax by 2.5 cents a gallon each year for the next four years, increasing it from 17 cents to 27 cents by 2022. The tax would generate more than $411 million annually in new revenue, with the State Road Fund receiving $288 million for state law enforcement and the remaining $123 million going to cities and counties for road construction and maintenance.

By allowing the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) to maintain and repair deteriorating roads and bridges, Prop D will improve traffic safety and boost community insurance ratings, indirectly helping boost economic investment.

“Safe and efficient roads and bridges are important for attracting and retaining businesses,” McDowell said. “This issue cuts straight to the core of the LSEDC mission.”

It has been 22 years since the State of Missouri raised its gas tax. At the same time, the state has added over 6,000 miles of traffic lanes.