The half percent sales tax increase that will be on the ballot in November is unnecessary. The reality of the situation is that the method used for allocating current fuel tax revenue is broken and in desperate need of being fixed. Under the existing system, less populous areas of the state receive more than three times as much per person in highway funding as do our more densely populated areas. And this money is distributed by a state highway commission that is effectively an anonymous body, operating without any oversight.
Arkansas Senator Jeremy Hutchinson, R – Dist 22, had introduced legislation last year that would have brought the Highway Commission under control of the state legislators. In exchange for Hutchinson withdrawing his proposal, the Highway Commission agreed to a redistricting plan that would allocate the money more fairly using a method that took current population centers into account. What happened? The Highway Commission reversed itself and unanimously voted to continue using the same old broken method of allocating tax dollars shortly after Hutchinson withdrew his legislation.
Are you angry yet? Please take a few minutes to watch the presentation below for the full story of how our broken system was put into place. And remember to vote no for additional sales tax on Nov. 6.
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