by Max Brantley
The Blue Ribbon Committee on Highway Finance issued an interim report today. You can read it here.
Short version: Money is insufficient. There are many ideas for raising more, but the committee isn't ready to narrow its recommendations yet. Said a news release:
The committee will continue to meet and study a wide array of possible funding options, 18 of which were listed in the report. Among those were indexing motor fuel taxes to the Arkansas Highway Construction Cost Index; a phased-in levy of an excise tax on motor fuels at the wholesale level; a construction bond issue funded by a temporary ½¢ sales tax that would be sunset in 10 years or sooner, and the 10-year phase-in of existing vehicle-related sales taxes from general revenue into the highway fund. A number of possible options could be referred to a vote of the people for approval, according to the committee’s most recent discussions.
Tax increase in 2011? Doubtful.