Lawmaker Files First Session Bill On State Highway Funding, Governor Skeptical

State Rep. Dan Douglas, R-Bentonville, on Monday surprised some legislators and policymakers at the State Capitol by filing a potentially controversial bill that combines portions of legislation he sponsored in 2015 and 2017 to provide an intermediate funding solution to Arkansas’ growing highway needs.

House Bill 1260, according to a first reading of the bill, would dedicate revenues from “at least a portion of the sales and use taxes collected on the sale of a new or used motor vehicle, trailer or semitrailer to be used to improve, construct and maintain the highways, roads, streets and bridges” in Arkansas.

Douglas’ bill would also levy a wholesale sales tax on state motor fuels by multiplying the 12-month average wholesale price for motor fuel by 3.5%. The Northwest Arkansas lawmaker said the sales tax on new and used cars and the levy on motor fuels would each generate about $120 million in revenue to pay for maintaining and repairing state highways, totaling more than $240 million in new funding.    MORE

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