LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - A bill to ask voters to approve a highway improvement plan that would be paid for by raising taxes on gas and diesel has failed in the Arkansas House.
The House voted 38-35 Tuesday on the proposal with 51 votes needed to put on the 2018 ballot a 20-year bond issue to raise $200 million annually for state roads. The lawmaker behind the plan asked the chamber to not vote on a companion bill to levy the state's 6.5 percent sales tax on the wholesale price of gasoline and diesel to pay for the bonds. The tax would have taken effect only if voters approved the bonds.
The bills had the backing of Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson. Several Republican lawmakers criticized the plan to raise taxes to pay for the bonds.