Two Taxes Floated to Pay for Road Repairs in Ark.

Tue February 02, 2010 - Southeast Edition
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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) Two taxes are emerging as a way to raise money to pay for road repairs in Arkansas.

But a spokesman for the governor said any tax increase will be a tough sell in the Legislature during a recession.

A subcommittee of the Arkansas Blue Ribbon Committee on Highway Finance is discussing an excise tax on the wholesale cost of fuel and indexing taxes on diesel and gasoline to highway construction costs. Members of the subcommittee say the two taxes would raise at least an additional $200 million a year for the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department (AHTD).

AHTD said it will have $4.1 billion for construction over the next decade but has needs totaling $19.1 billion.

Each tax would require a three-fourths majority vote in the Legislature to pass.