Huckabee's Road Program May be Funded by New Vehicle Sales Tax

FEBRUARY 9, 2005 - Posted at 7:58 a.m. CST

LITTLE ROCK, AR - Governor Mike Huckabee's $1 billion road program may be funded by a new 1.5 percent sales tax on vehicles and transportation-related items.

Huckabee is pushing the plan, which would ask voters to approve a $134 million tax increase by referendum, maybe as early as this summer.

The Arkansas Highway Commission has all but abandoned the idea of raising fuel taxes to pay for a bond issue for Huckabee's road construction plan.

If approved, this plan would break with the state's pay-as-you-go highway user fees, which financed roadwork until a $1 billion bond issue approved by voters in 1999.

Highway Commissioner Prissy Hickerson said yesterday that the time doesn't seem right for raising fuel taxes now.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)