Doesn't sound from this account that the increased gas severance tax is getting the job done on repairs to roads damaged by drilling equipment. It is currently producing a relative pittance given what is being extracted.
Revenue was projected at about $62 million during the first full year of the tax, but it has come in at about half that because of a significant drop in the price of natural gas.
“Nobody anticipated the kind of damage we’re seeing,” said department spokesman Randy Ort. “We don’t want to be negative because this is a huge boon to the state of Arkansas, but I don’t think anybody foresaw the amount of damage it was creating.”