Highways: No free lunch | Arkansas Blog

Highways: No free lunch

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Jason Tolbert provides some coverage of the blue-ribbon group studying highway funding.

He catches some plain old common sense from Sen. John Paul Capps, who says new tax money will be required for new highway money. There's no way to slice more for highways out of the existing pie.

There you go, like it or not. Is the answer a sales tax for highways? A change in the formula for taxing fuel sales? Nobody but me is mentioning a new levy for heavy trucks, but they should.

The commission's options discussed so far are linked in Tolbert's item. They include sales taxes of varying amounts to support bond issues and also the enduring idea to steal a portion of existing sales tax revenues for the same purpose (the emphasis is that they'd only take the tax on automotive goods, but this is just a sham for stealing existing tax base at someone else's expense). The ideas have already drawn an unfavorable comment from Gov. Mike Beebe.

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