LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Transportation sales tax will help solve funding crisis

Friday, August 1, 2014 | 6:00 a.m. CDT

We request you vote to support Amendment 7 on Aug. 5. This measure will provide funding for transportation projects statewide selected by regional planning organizations and ensure the maximum amount of our federal gas tax dollars return to Missouri.

These projects will benefit our bridge, roadway, railroad, aviation, port as well as rural and urban mass transit systems.

Food, prescriptions, fuel and rent are exempt from this proposed tax. This transportation sales tax will expire in 10 years. This method of transportation funding has been carefully studied over the past several years and is the preferred method of raising funds by constituents surveyed.

Please join my fellow professional engineers and me in setting an example for other states on how to solve our transportation funding crisis.

Please help us upgrade and sustain our transportation system by voting YES on Amendment 7.

Thank you for your support.

Gary Strack is president of the Missouri Society of Professional Engineers.

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Ellis Smith August 1, 2014 | 6:53 a.m.

One thing should be clear: If we are unwilling to financially support maintenance of even our our PRESENT highway and bridge system things will only get worse. Highways and bridges are not like some fine vintage red wine in that they do not improve with age.

What voting for or against this proposal should actually represent is the voters' desire to fund matters as stated by this proposal as opposed to some other method, NOT whether or not something needs to be done.

Awhile ago I suggested that whatever the outcome of this proposal, FEDERAL gasoline and diesel fuel sales taxes should also be raised. They haven't changed since 1993.

[Like Mr. Strack, I am a Registered Professional Engineer in the state of Missouri, for 49 years, but I no longer reside in Missouri and at age 81 no longer actively practice engineering.]

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