Arkansas Senate Approves Funding Plan For State's Highways

Feb 21, 2019

Sen. Terry Rice, sponsor of the bill, speaks on the Senate floor Thursday about the highway funding bill.

The Arkansas Senate has approved a plan to raise fuel taxes and tap into expected casino revenue to increase funding for the state's highways.

The Senate voted 27-8 Thursday for a key part of Gov. Asa Hutchinson's $300 million highway funding plan. It now heads to the House.

The proposal creates a new wholesale tax on fuel that will raise gas prices by 3 cents a gallon and diesel by 6 cents a gallon. It also dedicates at least $35 million in expected revenue from four casinos that will be created under a constitutional amendment voters approved last year. The bill also includes additional registration fees for hybrid and electric vehicles.

Hutchinson's highway plan includes a separate proposal asking voters next year to permanently extend a half-cent road sales tax.