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Arkansas Senate Raises Diesel Tax

March 18, 1999

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The Arkansas Senate passed a highway bill with higher diesel taxes than the House version – a change that Gov. Mike Huckabee says could wreck the whole program.

Earlier this week, the state Senate kept the House’s plan to raise gasoline taxes by a penny a year over three years, but decided the trucking industry should pay another 4 cents in taxes immediately, reports the Associated Press.
The Senate defeated an alternative proposal to institute a weight-distance tax on trucks traveling in the state.
Sen. Wayne Dowd, who authored the diesel tax change, said the trucking industry deserved to carry a heavier tax burden than the driving public because heavy trucks do most of the damage to roads. The trucking industry contends it pays its share of highway taxes, but that the Highway Commission has diverted proceeds that should go to improving the interstates to less-traveled rural road projects.
The road bill goes back to the House Revenue and Taxation Committee for concurrence on the Senate amendment. Some observers predict the changed bill could have a hard time getting through the House.

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