Issue: 1249 Date: 7/30/2014
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Transportation Tax Campaign Spent More than $2 Million -- Just In July
A portion of Interstate 70 that suffered storm damage
The campaign for a statewide transportation sales tax has been in a spending frenzy in July - and still has more money to burn.
The latest campaign-finance report shows the group called Missourians for Safe Transportation and New Jobs has $1.67 million left to spend during the final days leading up to the Aug. 5 election.
And that's after spending more than $2 million on TV ads during first four weeks of July.
The report filed Monday with the Missouri Ethics Commission will be the last major one before the election. It shows that the campaign for Amendment 7 has raised just over $4.1 million from the beginning of its effort, and spent $2.4 million all told - the bulk of it in the last few weeks.
At stake is a proposed three-quarter cent sales tax, for 10 years, that would be devoted to the state's transportation needs - including bridges, roads and mass transit. The measure also contains a provision barring any increase in the state's gasoline tax, now one of the lowest in the country.
Backers say the proposal is the best way to raise at least $500 million a year to pay for badly needed transportation improvements. Critics contend there are better ways to raise the money, and object to a sales tax because it is seen as hurting low-income people the most.