Public forum looks for alternative ways to fund infrastructure

Monday, September 1, 2014 | 5:47 p.m. CDT; updated 9:38 p.m. CDT, Monday, September 1, 2014

*CORRECTION: The public forum will be held Thursday night. A previous version of this article misstated the day.

COLUMBIA — Boone County lawmakers are seeking public input on how to fix and maintain degrading infrastructure after 60 percent of Missourians rejected a transportation sales tax earlier in August.

Five state representatives will host a public forum to discuss transportation and infrastructure funding from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Thursday* in the Columns Room at MU's Reynolds Alumni Center.

State Reps. Caleb Rowden, Chris Kelly, Stephen Webber, John Wright and Caleb Jones will oversee the forum. They will talk about the state of transportation funding in Missouri, and they hope the public will contribute new ideas for finding money for highways and other transportation projects.

Amendment 7 on the August ballot would have enacted a three-quarter-cent temporary sales tax, generating $480 million per year for the state's Transportation Safety and Job Creation Fund. Voters opposed to the amendment worried that the tax increase would further burden middle- and lower-class residents.

Some opponents of the amendment have already proposed alternatives to the sales tax, including an increased gas tax and tolls.

Supervising editor is Scott Swafford.

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