Missouri State Auditor Nicole Galloway, CPA, recently released a report titled “Missouri Statewide Performance Indicators: A National Comparison,” comparing Missouri to the rest of the country and national averages based on a variety of categories.
The Lake Sun is analyzing the health, transportation and economic sections as three key areas we’ve been covering over the last couple of years.
The categories were broken down into economy, education, civic involvement, health, crime and transportation and used a compilation of data compiled from government and research institutions. Data collection for the report was performed by the Harry S Truman School of Public Affairs’ Institute of Public Policy at the University of Missouri - Columbia.
The goal of the report, according to Galloway, is to “provide comparative information to Missouri legislators, other elected officials, and citizens; without comment, or drawing conclusions, allow the comparative data and rankings to stand alone as indicators; publish the report in a technical format that provides information, and trends when classifiable, without presumptions of findings.”
The transportation comparisons were broken down into three sub-categories which included, percent of bridges that are deficient or functionally obsolete; percentage of road in mediocre or poor condition; and state gasoline tax, in cents.
While looking at these graphs it’s important to note several pieces of information:
— Bridge Comparison: this includes the percent of bridges that are structurally deficient or functionally obsolete as defined by the Federal Highway Administration provided by the Bureau of Transportation Statistics. In 2014, Missouri ranked 33rd in the nation and despite the state decreasing its’ percentage from 28.3 in 2012 to 26.5 in 2014, remained ranked 33rd for those three years.
— Road Comparison: this includes the percent of all roadways in a state that are in mediocre or poor conditioned as defined by the Bureau of Transportation Statistics. In 2013, Missouri ranked 27th, right on par with the national average. It’s interesting to note that Missouri went from being ranked 4th in 2011 with just 6.2 percent up to 23.2 percent in 2012 and slightly down in 2013 at 19.6 percent. The transportation budget and road infrastructure repair and maintenance were hot topics in Jefferson City this year.
— Gas Tax Comparison: this includes the amount of tax levied, by a state on the sale of one gallon or gasoline provided by the Federal Tax Administration and the Tax Policy Center. In 2016, Missouri ranked 44th with a gas tax below the national average. With a steady gas tax, Missouri’s ranking and percent (17.3) has remained virtually unchanged, give or take a spot. Also worth noting that Missouri has the lowest cigarette tax in the nation, it’s lowest ranking in all the comparisons next to the gas tax.