Improving Our State’s Aging Infrastructure System

Earlier this month, the governor signed legislation into law raising the state’s gas tax for the first time in over two decades. Senate Bill 262 increases the gas tax by 2.5 cents per gallon beginning in October 2021, and continues to increase it annually for five years, until reaching a total increase of 12.5 cents per gallon. This additional revenue will be used to fix and maintain roads and bridges throughout Missouri.

Now, I voted against this bill, not because it increased the gas tax, but because a similar proposal was voted down by Missourians at the ballot box in 2018. However, when you consider Missouri’s gas tax has not been increased since 1996 and realize the rising price of asphalt, steel, concrete and labor today, I think it is understandable to want to update the state’s gas tax.

While I understand it’s important to maintain our roads and bridges, I also know the past year has been hard for many Missourians even without an increase in the gas tax. That is why I’m pleased to report that drivers have the opportunity to receive a refund for the additional taxes paid at the pump through a rebate provision contained in SB 262. Individuals interested in receiving a refund need to keep their gas receipts and file for a rebate with the Department of Revenue. The department is working to create the forms needed to apply for the rebate, so until they become available, I simply encourage my constituents to keep their receipts. Please note, vehicles weighing over 26,000 pounds are ineligible for the refund.

All told, I’m hopeful SB 262 will help provide the resources needed to restore and improve our state’s aging infrastructure system. While no one likes tax increases, this legislation does provide interested Missourians with an avenue to recover the additional taxes paid at the pump.

I am honored to serve the citizens of the 8th Senatorial District. If there is anything I can do to serve you, please feel free to contact my office in Jefferson City at (573) 751-1464. For information about my committee assignments or sponsored legislation for the 2021 session, please visit my official Missouri Senate website at senate.mo.gov/Cierpiot.

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