Arkansas Senate approves funding plan for state’s highways

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) 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.
Those voting in favor of the measure representing North Central Arkansas were Senators Scott Flippo of Bull Shoals, Missy Irvin of Mountain View and James Sturch of Batesville. Senator Breanne Davis of Russellville was among the eight voting against the measure.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.

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