Missoula County commissioners place gas tax on voter ballot

March 10, 2020 GMT

MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) — Voters in Missoula, Montana will be able to decide on whether to adopt a 2-cent a gallon gas tax.

The Missoula County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously Monday to put the tax on the June primary ballot.

The tax is expected to generate more than $1 million, which would be split evenly between the city and county for construction, maintenance and repair of public roads, commissioners said.

“Local governments have limited sources of revenue and almost all of their road maintenance funding comes from property taxes and this new local motor fuel tax would help diversify local revenue generation,” Commissioner Josh Slotnick told ABC FOX Montana, adding that the tax would help ensure tourists pay for their use of the roads in Missoula.

Additional information from the advisory committee estimates non-residents visiting the county would generate about $400,000 in revenue.

The vote comes after commissioners asked for public comment on the proposed tax.

“I would like to see the county operate more efficiently than put another tax onto people,” Alan Ault told The Missoulian. Ault is a candidate for the Missoula County Board of Commissioners.

Others have argued the county is underfunded and does not bring in enough money to focus on proper road maintenance.