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Local state senator proposed 10-cent increase in state fuel tax

Posted on Tuesday, December 12, 2017 at 1:07 pm

State Sen. Dave Schatz, R-Sullivan.

Missouri’s tax on motor fuel would increase a dime a gallon under a bill that was pre-filed by State Sen. Dave Schatz, R-Sullivan.
If the legislation is approved, the fuel tax was go from 17 cents a gallon to 27 cents.
The proposed tax increase, which is similar to fuel-tax proposals in recent years, would generate money for the cash-strapped Missouri Department of Transportation.
Schatz, whose district represents Berger, New Haven and the rest of Franklin County and part of West St. Louis County, is the vice chairman of the 21st Century Transportation Task Force, a committee formed by legislation adopted this year that has been holding public meetings throughout the state regarding the transportation system and infrastructure.
The gas-tax measure was one of several pieces of legislation was pre-filed by Schatz. Members of the Missouri Senate and House of Representatives began pre-filing bills Dec. 1.
The 2018 session of the Missouri General Assembly begins at noon, Wednesday, Jan. 3.
Before being elected to the Missouri Senate, Schatz represented the Missouri House district that includes the Hermann area.
Other bills filed early by Schatz, who is up for re-election in 2018, would:
• Expand the Bi-State Development Agency boundaries to include Franklin County. Bi-State Development operates the Metro system of light rail and buses. Bi-State Development, which is headquartered in Downtown St. Louis, also operates the Arch and other riverfront attractions.
The expansion could result in an increase in public transportation opportunities in Franklin County.
• Prohibit public colleges and universities from raising the tuition rate for Missouri resident undergraduate and graduate students for four years from the date the student enrolls at the school.
If a college or university failed to comply with the freeze, it would be forced to give up 5 percent of its current level of state funding, the measure says.
Further, the bill would add course fees and any supplemental fees to the definition of “tuition.”
• Change the way a vacancy on a county commission is filled.
Now, when a vacancy occurs within a county commission, the governor appoints a successor to serve until the next election when voters decide who sits on the administrative panel.
Under this legislation, a governor would appoint the successor if there is less than one year remaining in the position’s term. If there is one year or more remaining in the term, the governor’s appointment would be subject to confirmation by the Missouri Senate.
This legislation would apply only to non-charter counties.