Missouri DOT Financial Modeling, Policy Analysis & Public Outreach

Under Missouri Department of Transportation's (MoDOT's), Surface Transportation System Funding Alternatives (STSFA) grant, EBP led a team to provide financial modeling, policy analysis, legislative support, and public outreach and education services to the department.

Missouri differed from most other STSFA grant recipients in that it studied modernization of its registration fee policies rather than mileage-based user fees. This work helped the agency communicate the value of revenue modernization to the legislature, which that session increased the gas tax, while deferring registration fee modernization. 

Specific tasks included an Excel-based financial forecasting model for studying alternative policy structures using fleet composition forecasts developed from registration data; building a web-based calculator for the public to better understand what they would pay under the policy alternative; providing MoDOT messaging materials and back-up evidence for educating legislators; meetings to develop legislative and policy strategies for the department to implement; and a public-outreach program targeting decision-makers and Missouri residents. 

Missouri is the only state in the country to collect registration fees based on "taxable horsepower," which is mostly unrelated to the horsepower concept broadly used and no longer a published vehicle attribute by manufacturers. This makes compliance with the existing policy difficult and inefficient. Registration fee modernization may dovetail with registration database modernization, an IT system update being carried out by many DOTs seeking to move off of mainframe systems developed in outdated programming languages.