ST. LOUIS — Lawmakers are considering a bill that would impose a gas tax of two cents per gallon. Currently, the gas tax is 17 cents per gallon in Missouri. The tax would increase by two cents per gallon until it reaches 27 cents per gallon. HB 822 would take effect in 2020.
Glenn Billingsley is a professional driver. He drives for Uber and Lyft, and also runs a private car service.
“What I like about driving is I am my own boss. I set my own hours,” Billingsley said.
Billingsley also buys his own gas, spending $600 to $800 a month. He said his business would take a hit if the gas tax increases.
“Everything in life that gets passed onto the provider of a service gets passed on to the consumer,” he said.
On the other hand, Billingsley also sees the poor condition of some of our roads.
“I mean, I'm looking at these roads,” Billingsley said. “They do need work. They need to get patched up everywhere. I know our infrastructure has to be maintained.”
Rep. Steve Butz (D-St. Louis) introduced the bill. He said, over the course of five years, it would generate about $300 million. The funds would go to maintaining and repairing roads that MoDOT services, especially bridges.
Billingsley said he is upset that lawmakers would impose the tax instead of allowing voters to decide.
“How much are you willing to pay for it?” Billingsley said. “I don't know.”
A State Senator from Farmington has another idea for how to pay for roads and bridges. Gary Romine wants to charge people who drive fuel-efficient cars more to get the car licensed.
Under Romine's plan, Senate Bill 201, it would cost $24 to get tags for a regular car, truck, or SUV that gets 29 or fewer miles per gallon. If your car gets 29 miles to the gallon, your plates would cost an extra six dollars per mile per gallon.
That means if you get 40 miles to the gallon, you'd pay $90 for tags. It caps out at $210.
The idea is that people who drive the most should pay the most, but people who drive more fuel-efficient cars use less gas and pay less in gas taxes as a result.
Right now, the system is based on horsepower.