Business & Investment

Missouri Department of Transportation seeks approval for salary increase

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Jefferson City, Missouri — The Missouri Department of Transportation is demanding an injection of $ 70 million in cash to raise employee wages and hire more employees.

At the same time, drivers are paying 2.5 cents more per gallon with gasoline pumps, and the agency that builds and maintains roads and bridges insists on sales within the agency and the planned launch of construction projects, Submitted a request to the Governor’s Budget Office Over the next few years, additional costs will be incurred.

“With this expansion, MoDOT can improve employee retention and reduce costs associated with employee turnover,” the request said.

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On October 1, drivers began paying higher taxes on gasoline for the first time in a quarter of a century when the excise tax of 17 cents per gallon on state fuel surged 2.5 cents.

By mid-2025, the fuel tax will be raised to a total of 12½ cents (29½ cents per gallon) and the proceeds will be used for road projects.

However, MoDOT states that government agencies will be bound by continued employee turnover without changing the budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2022.

This is a familiar mourning among government officials throughout the state government, paying the lowest amount in the country for its workforce. In recent years, many institutions have tried to raise salaries, but the turnover rate continues to rise.

In a ranking released earlier this year, OpenPayrolls, the largest national public salary database in the United States, reported that Missouri’s average salary of $ 28,871 was only higher than Colorado.

The average salary for MoDOT maintenance workers is about $ 31,000 a year, or just under $ 15 an hour.

This is due to the high turnover rate of over 5,000 office workers. According to budget documents, this rate is projected to rise from 10% in 2017 to nearly 14% by 2023. For first-year employees, as many as 30% did not last for a year, the agency says.

The cancellation involves costs associated with training and employment. MoDOT said it paid $ 34.5 million in sales for the fiscal year ending June 30.

For workers, low wages mean getting food stamps and getting a second job, budget demands say.

As of July 20, 13.1% of employees in the department may be eligible for supplemental nutrition support programs based on a four-person household. As of December 2020, an estimated 10.5% of MoDOT employees also work for their second employer.

In addition to raising wage levels, MoDOT is seeking funding to hire 107 full-time employees to “provide and maintain larger construction programs.”

Part of the additional $ 13 million could be paid from the Federal Emergency Stimulation Fund and state taxes, the demand said.

Gasoline tax hikes are expected to cause increased road and bridge construction, but there are mechanisms to prevent drivers from paying for it.

After filling out, the driver can save the purchase receipt at the beginning of each state’s fiscal year and fill out the online form to receive a refund of the new tax paid in the previous fiscal year.

According to a nonpartisan analysis by legislative researchers, the fuel tax is expected to rise by more than $ 77 million in the nine months that this year’s tax goes into effect.

In fiscal year 2023, analysts said taxes could generate $ 206 million. By fiscal year 2027, when the tax is fully implemented, the analysis said the increase could raise more than $ 500 million.

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Missouri Department of Transportation seeks approval for salary increase Missouri Department of Transportation seeks approval for salary increase

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