State Highways

Sarah Kellogg / KUAR

Part of Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s highway plan needs one final vote to fully pass in the legislature. The House Committee on Revenue and Taxation approved the bill on Tuesday.

The proposed highway plan is split into two parts. The first part, a permanent extension of the half-cent sales tax on fuel, requires approval by constituents on the 2020 general election ballot. An extension of the tax is predicted to raise $205 million annually for the Arkansas Department of Transportation.

Interstate highway big rock interchange interstates 630 430
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

While Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced a $300 million plan for the state’s highways, that total does not include the additional funding the plan will provide to cities and counties. It relies on both an increase in the existing tax rates for gasoline and diesel, as well as an extension of the existing half-cent sales tax. 

Gov. Asa Hutchinson's Office

A renewal of the existing half cent sales tax on fuel funds more than two thirds of a $300 million highway funding plan, the largest amount of increased annual revenue to state highways in the state’s history.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson says this proposed plan gives the most funding, he feels, the state can afford.

"This plan, achieves the right balance. It is affordable, it is prudent for our budget and it is reasonable," Hutchinson said.