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story.lead_photo.caption FILE - Gov. Asa Hutchinson listens Feb. 11, 2019 during a news conference at the state Capitol where he unveiled his highway plan. Legislative leaders were commenting about the proposal that would permanently extend a half-percent sales tax, increase fuel taxes and tap casino revenue. - Photo by Staton Breidenthal

Gov. Asa Hutchinson on Tuesday signed a bill that would raise $95 million a year more for highways by imposing a wholesale sales tax on gasoline and diesel fuel, increasing electric and hybrid vehicle fees and reallocating other state revenue.

The Republican governor said the measure has broad public support, but added it’s too early to speculate about whether the tax increases will spawn opponents for the lawmakers who voted for the legislation.

The new wholesale sales tax would increase the tax on gas by 3 cents a gallon, to 24.5 cents a gallon, and the tax on diesel by 6 cents a gallon, to 28.5 cents a gallon. The new law indexes the tax and limits future increases to one-tenth of a cent a year, meaning the maximum increase would be 1 percent over 10 years.

[RELATED: Complete Democrat-Gazette coverage of the Arkansas Legislature]

The wholesale tax would raise about $58 million more a year for highways and about $13 million a year more each for cities and counties.

The governor also signed bills Tuesday authorizing a legislative study of the state Department of Transportation with the help of a consultant and requiring the Highway Commission to approve the department’s legislative package.

Read Wednesday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.


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Archived Comments

  • akhortons09251639
    March 12, 2019 at 12:50 p.m.

    Oh goody! Now the Highway Commission/Highway Dept. can give away 6 MILLION DOLLARS OF OUR TAX MONEY in the next 5 years instead of the 3 million they gave away in the last five!
    Boo, Hutchinson!
    Boo, legislature!
    Boo, Highway Commission/Dept. for wasting our money by giving it away while our Highways rot!
    Arkansas citizens are already taxed too much!
    Vote them ALL out in the next election!

  • UoABarefootPhdFICYMCA
    March 12, 2019 at 1:27 p.m.

    stands in front of easel with dumbed down numbers.
    "miracle worker"
    please get the big government never worked a day in his life deep state crony out of the governors mansion.
    you people have no clue who this assclown is.

  • punk47
    March 12, 2019 at 2:13 p.m.

    A sorry horse rear for a gov and state house too vote all out next time.

  • greggies
    March 12, 2019 at 7:50 p.m.

    "$58 million more a year for highways and about $13 million a year more each for cities and counties." Where's the other $11 million going?

    March 12, 2019 at 8:08 p.m.

    I thought. Republicans were for NO NEW TAXES.Another Republican LIE.

  • HM2
    March 12, 2019 at 8:10 p.m.

    That a way Gov. just when gas dropped down to where us seniors could afford it, you raise it. this TAX INCREASE is suppose to go toward highway funding, right!We know where it's going. As a Republican I can honestly say I will never vote Republican in Arkansas again.

  • Murphy01
    March 12, 2019 at 8:37 p.m.

    Where's it going HM2?

  • Popsmith
    March 12, 2019 at 8:47 p.m.

    That's about 45¢ a week more. I can handle that.

  • wolfman
    March 12, 2019 at 9:13 p.m.

    Living not far from the state border is great when it comes to things like this. He won’t get a dime from me through the fuel tax

  • Knuckleball1
    March 12, 2019 at 10:33 p.m.

    The Possum Grinning Governor (although the picture with this article is the first time I have not seen that silly grin) gave away 95 million back to the top 1% that could have been spent on roads...

    They all need to go home....