CHICAGO – The Missouri Association for Social Welfare filed a lawsuit contesting the language of a proposed ballot measure seeking approval for a one cent sale tax increase to fund transportation-related projects.

The group believes the summary crafted by the Missouri Secretary of State’s office which would appear on the ballot is misleading as to the size of the increase and whether tolls could eventually be used on future bridge projects.

Supporters of the ballot measure are still working to gather sufficient signatures to get the question on the November 2014 ballot asking voters to amend the state constitution to increase the state’s sales tax for road and bridge work. The lawsuit was filed Nov. 25 in Cole County Circuit Court.

The ballot measure is being pushed by a coalition of groups and individuals that formed Missourians for Safe Transportation and New Jobs. The effort follows a failed push by a bipartisan group of lawmakers to pass legislation putting to a public vote a sales tax hike for transportation projects.

The failed plan would have raised the sales tax by one cent for 10 years with the aim of raising $8 billion. The funds would support transportation projects overseen by the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission, with about 10% going to local cities and counties.

A transportation task force report said an infusion of $600 million to $1 billion was needed annually to meet needs.

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