Missouri Farm Bureau has long been a proponent of additional funding to address Missouri’s transportation needs. It has been twenty years since Missouri increased fuel taxes to support our highway system. Meanwhile, the purchasing power of the fuel tax dollars has continued to shrink. Missouri Farm Bureau members know our state’s roads and bridges are in need of attention and increased funding is vital.
All Missouri roads are vital to someone, whether it is a farm-to-market road carrying commodities or a rural route carrying a school bus full of our children. MOFB members see the needs of our transportation system. Our members are also sensitive to the division on funds between urban and rural Missouri. We believe that the current funding break down as laid out by the highway commission is fair and allows the state to address priorities.
Missouri Farm Bureau also advocates for maintaining and increasing transportation along our rivers. Missouri’s location in the center of the nation and at the meeting points of the nation largest interstates and rivers is a major advantage to the state, but only as much as we take advantage of it. Missouri must maintain and improve all modes of transportation for the good of the state.
In 2018, the Missouri Legislature passed legislation sending Proposition D to a vote of the people in November. Proposition D increases funding for our roads and bridges by increasing the motor fuel tax by two and one half cents per year for four consecutive years. The increased funds will fund the Missouri Highway Patrol, which is currently funded by the motor fuel tax. Funding the Patrol through Proposition D would free up about $288 million in increased road and bridge funding each year. Once fully implemented, Proposition D will also deliver an increase of $123 million per year to our cities and counties for infrastructure. Missouri Farm Bureau supports passage of Proposition D on the November ballot.
Missouri Farm Bureau Policy
MFB members acknowledge the need for increased highway and bridge funding and could support additional funding through fuel tax, sales tax, and/or vehicle fees, if MoDOT could ensure the fair distribution of funding between rural and urban areas.
With so many different plans, routes (such as I-70), cost figures and estimated tolls being talked about for Missouri, we are skeptical about the idea of implementing tolling in Missouri and would need to have specifics of any tolling proposal to determine if our members would support.
Adequate roads and bridges from county systems to interstate highways are essential for the production and distribution of all commodities, including crops and livestock. We support bridges constructed on county roads be built at a minimum of 20 feet wide, to allow for and support the movement of large agriculture implements and machinery. We also believe the Missouri Department of Transportation should work to improve the state’s roads and bridges to meet the needs of our military and civil defense operations in the state.
The Governor’s appointments to the Highway and Transportation Commission must be fair and balanced representing both rural and urban interests.
A fair allocation of highway funds should be implemented using such objective criteria as vehicle miles traveled, recognizing not only the importance of the interstates but also the importance of the state/federal highway system and the farm-to-market roads.
Any plan for system expansion, rehabilitation, reconstruction or maintenance should identify specific projects and commit to general timelines for completion;
All earmarked federal highway and transportation related funds received in Missouri should be taken into consideration in the allocation of the state funds and other remaining federal funds.
Taxes and fees generated by highway use should be spent on the highway system and not diverted to other modes of transportation and non-highway use.
We strongly support port authorities and river commerce and believe funding for river transportation and port improvements should be a component of state and federal transportation legislation
We believe the Missouri Department of Transportation should work with Farm Bureau members and agricultural producers to develop a program that addresses the public safety concerns associated with moving agricultural machinery on roadways.