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Missouri gas tax revenue hasn't been decimated, despite fewer drivers

Despite millions fewer highway gallons consumed in April, the state’s gas tax coffers still have plenty of fuel
Credit: SLBJ

ST. LOUIS — When Missouri issued a stay-at-home order on April 3, many predicted a sharp drop in gas tax revenue collected by the state. Yet despite millions fewer highway gallons consumed in April, the state’s gas tax coffers still have plenty of fuel.

According to recent figures from the Missouri Department of Revenue, Missouri vehicles consumed 328 million highway gallons in April — an 8.4% decrease over last April. However, a year-over-year increase of 9.8% in March offset the damage, leaving the state’s cumulative 2020 highway gallons down just 0.87%. Now that stay-at-home orders have lifted, gas gallon figures for May are likely to rebound.

The state’s year-to-date gas tax receipts of $171.7 million are actually up from $164.7 million this time last year. The state’s total year-to-date motor fuel receipts, which include refunds, special fuel tax receipts, aviation tax receipts and other related items, are $221.3 million, down slightly from $223.3 million this time in 2019.

The gas tax revenue is a bright spot for Missouri, where other funding sources have suffered more from the COVID-19 pandemic. The state recently announced a third round of budget cuts to the tune of $209 million.

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