Vote Yes On Amendment 3

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

On Election Day, Missourians will be voting on the transportation ballot measure commonly referred to as Amendment 3.

The following is a compelling list of reasons why Missourians should vote "Yes" on Amendment 3.

End the diversion of existing funds

A large portion of the existing state fuel tax and state vehicle sales tax is diverted and not used for highway construction. During the next 4 years, Amendment 3 will end most of this diversion and redirect $160 million per year of these existing funds into highway construction.

No new taxes

Amendment 3 is not a tax increase. Amendment 3 simply redirects $160 million per year of existing but diverted state fuel tax and state vehicle sales tax back into highway construction.

Repair our roads

In 2003, there were 1232 fatalities on Missouri roads -- that's 18 percent higher than the national average.

Missouri is third in the nation in the percentage of roads in poor or mediocre condition and fourth in the nation in the percentage of structurally deficient bridges.

It is estimated that vehicle traffic in Missouri will increase by 50 percent during the next two decades.

Economic development

According to the Federal Highway Administration, 4200 jobs can be created in Missouri for every $100 million spent on highway construction. The FHA also estimates that every $1 spent on highway improvements results in $5.40 in economic benefits to Missouri.

No impact on education and welfare programs

The $160 million per year in question, which is less than 1 percent of Missouri's $18.9 billion budget, will be more than replenished by growth in general revenue which is estimated to be in the 3 percent range for 2006.

In addition, Amendment 3 will create thousands of good paying jobs and large amounts of construction which will jump-start the economy and ultimately increase the amount of taxes being paid into the state's coffers.

Gubernatorial candidates endorse Amendment 3

Both McCaskill and Blunt have publicly stated that they support Amendment 3.

Amendment 3 will not completely solve Missouri's transportation problems but it will put more money into highway construction, stimulate economic development and growth, and begin to make transportation a fiscal priority in the state, all without a tax increase. Missourians should "Yes" on Amendment 3.

-- Ronald J. Leone, an attorney and the Executive Vice President of the Missouri Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association (www.mpca.org).