(RepublicanInformer.com)- After the Gateway Pundit released a post alleging Missouri State Senator Dave Schatz had a personal financial motives for pushing a vote on a fuel tax increase bill, Schatz vehemently denied the charges.
The bill in question, SB 262, was sponsored by Schatz and would increase Missouri’s fuel tax by 2.5 cents annually for the next four years. Currently, Missouri’s gas tax stands at 17 cents per gallon. Under the new bill, that tax will increase to 29.5 cents by 2025.
The increased funds garnered from the tax increase would go to repairing Missouri’s roads and bridges. The bill is supported by Missouri’s Governor Mike Parson.
However, Gateway Pundit claimed in its reporting that as owner of Schatz Underground — a utility contractor that serves the St. Louis, Kansas City, and Springfield areas – Schatz’s motive for advancing the bill was solely based on personal profit.
According to the Gateway Pundit report, the proposed tax increase would bring in an estimated $278 million and Schatz Underground stands to take a big cut of the revenue raised.
Calling the bill Schatz’s “pet project,” the Gateway Pundit also alleges that Schatz used threats against his Republican colleagues to force them to vote in favor of the bill.
For his part, Senator Schatz says the Gateway Pundit’s report is, “completely false and ridiculous.”
Schatz added that he stands behind the gas tax increase and that it was negotiated on the back of tax cuts.
In addition to the tax increase, Schatz’s bill also includes a rebate program that will allow Missourians to apply for a refund with the Department of Revenue once a year.
Calling the rebate program a “scheme,” the Gateway Pundit accuses Schatz of attempting to get around laws to protect Missouri taxpayers.
There was Republican opposition to the gas tax, however. State Senator Bill Eigel explained that currently the state’s general fund balance is at a record high and argued that increasing the gas tax only proves that the state government is “woefully out-of-touch.”