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      Businesses support Missouri transportation tax campaign

      Businesses that stand to benefit from the Missouri transportation tax have begun pouring millions of dollars into the campaign.

      During the past six weeks, the campaign committee for the Aug. 5 ballot measure has received more than $2.3 million in contributions in large chunks ranging from $7,500 to $160,000 at a time.

      The money is akin to an investment for many contributors. That's because if voters approve the tax, the donors could get some of the money through contracts awarded by the Missouri Department of Transportation.

      The proposal is projected by lawmakers to generate $540 million annually.

      Highway contractors have contributed the most to the campaign. But significant amounts also have come from labor unions, engineering firms, equipment dealers and concrete and asphalt producers.