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Voters around state weigh local issues

Wednesday, November 6, 2002

Voters in Oak Grove on Tuesday defeated a proposal that would have made the Kansas City area town the only municipality in Missouri with its own tax on gasoline.

A penny-per-gallon sales tax proposal lost by nearly a 2-1 margin. City officials said the proposal would have cost the average resident only about $15 a year while raising about $1 million annually, largely from truckers and other Interstate 70 travelers who stop to refuel at one of the three large service stations in the town of 5,500.

The gas-tax proposal was one of dozens of local issues facing voters around the state. In Springfield, voters were turning down a plan that would have allowed the sale of alcohol in parks and the town's zoo. And in St. Louis, results weren't yet tallied on a proposal that would require a public vote before city funds could be channeled to sports franchises, stadiums or arenas.

Oak Grove city leaders had hoped to use the gas tax revenue to build a new exit ramp and relieve backup onto the interstate from the truck stops. But the measure met with strong opposition from gasoline purveyors who worried that if Oak Grove approved such a tax, others might follow suit.

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