MoDOT talks transportation projects in Hannibal

An open house held Wednesday will allow residents to discuss Constitutional Amendment 7.

Usually, when you ask somebody if they're in favor of a tax hike, they'd say no.

But MoDOT reached out to northeast Missouri on Wednesday with an open house in Hannibal to see if residents might favor a tax hike leading to better roads.

The state of Missouri has proposed a three-quarter cent sales tax increase designed to improve the state's transportation.

"I realize we need to keep our roads up," said Georgia Wessling, who attended the open house. "Even the new roads, (Highway) 36 has places where they had to patch it even after they fixed it."

The tax doesn't just apply to the state's roadways.

According to Kevin James, assistant engineer for the northeast district of Missouri, the tax increase will go towards improving all forms of transportation.

"The three-quarter cent sales tax can be for any transportation need, like transits, ports, and other projects that are on there as well." James said.

If the measure passes, the sales tax would generate about $5.4 billion over the next 10 years.

Ninety-percent of that money would go towards state transportation, such as highways. Ten percent would be spent directly on cities and counties, anywhere from bus stops to main streets.

James said he thinks Wednesday's meeting was a success.

"I think we had a good turnout here tonight, a lot of interest in the project list and a lot of people providing comments," he said. "We want to be sure we did a good job getting feedback on the list, before it's finalized and then work on educating the public on what that list would look like before the August 5th election."

Missouri residents will vote on the issue August 5.