Arkansas governor makes road tax main priority for 2020

Arkansas News

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, center, speaks at a news conference at the Poultry Federation in Little Rock, Ark., Friday, Nov. 15, 2019 about the campaign to extend a half-cent sales tax for highways. Hutchinson called the effort to keep the tax his top priority among next year’s ballot initiatives. The half-cent tax approved by voters in 2012 is to expire in 2023 unless voters extend it by approving a ballot measure that is part of a highway funding package passed by the Legislature earlier this year. (AP Photo/Andrew DeMillo)

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — (11/28/19) Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson says his top priority for next year’s re-election campaign is winning voter approval for a proposed constitutional amendment that would make the state’s 0.5% sales tax for highways and roads permanent.

Hutchinson said Tuesday the proposal is vital to the state’s future. State officials project the measure would raise about $205 million a year for highways and about $43 million a year apiece for cities and counties.

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports that voters approved the tax in 2012, but it is set to expire after 10 years.

Hutchinson says that an October poll found that that 62% of 800 likely voters said they’re going to vote for Issue 1 or are likely to vote in favor of it.

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