[SeMissourian.com]    
Apr 18, 5:01 AM EDT

Mo. Senate panel endorses penny transportation tax


JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) -- A Missouri Senate committee has endorsed a 1-cent sales tax increase to fund transportation projects.

The proposed constitutional amendment passed the House earlier this month. It was adopted by the Senate Transportation and Infrastructure Committee on Thursday with a 6-1 vote.

If passed by the full Senate, the measure would head to the November ballot for voter approval. The tax is estimated to generate $800 million annually and $8 billion over its 10-year lifespan.

The lone "no" vote on the Senate panel was Republican Sen. John Lamping, who led the fight against similar legislation last year. He says Republicans are sending a mixed message by raising sales taxes, while also passing an income tax cut this year.

Supporters say the tax is necessary for Missouri to maintain its highway system.

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