Gov. Mike Parson signs incremental gas tax increase

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — On Tuesday, Gov. Mike Parson signed SB 262 to increase Missouri’s gas tax gradually over the next five years. A 2.5 cents-per-gallon increase is scheduled for October of this year.

This is the first increase to the gas tax in Missouri in 25 years. The current tax of 17 cents per gallon will increase gradually until July 2026, when it will be 29.5 cents per gallon.

The revenue from the new tax will be put back into Missouri’s infrastructure. According to Parson’s press release, the new tax will generate over $450 million for the state. The press release also stated that Missouri has a funding gap in transportation infrastructure of more than $8.25 billion. 

Missourians will have the option to get a refund if they are willing to keep track of their records.

In order to get reimbursed for the increased gas tax, residents will have to submit an application to the Missouri Department of Revenue. This application would require:

● The VIN of the car that used the gas,
● the name and address of the person who bought it,
● the name and address of the seller of the gas,
● gallons bought in the fiscal year and
● gallons taxed under the new gas tax.

In addition to that, Missourians must also keep their receipts for all their gas purchases in order to get a refund. However, only the amount of the new gas tax is eligible for reimbursement.

Missourians have a track record of voting against tax increases, however. In 2018, Missouri voters defeated a similar incremental gas tax on the ballot in Proposition D with 54% voting against it.

For this reason, at least one conservative group, Americans for Prosperity-Missouri, is campaigning for the tax increase to be put to a ballot initiative for voters to choose. If enough signatures are gathered, the bill will be voted on next year where it will likely be struck down as Missourians have not voted for a tax increase since 1996. 

As gas prices trend up after the pandemic, an increase in the gas tax will safely put gas prices  over $3 per gallon. Once the first 2.5 cent increase is implemented in October 2021, future increases are scheduled for July of each year thereafter. 

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