Wednesday, September 9, 2015

They Want To Raises Taxes, Again!

by David Ray, State Director, AFP Arkansas: Little Rock is being swarmed by lobbyists, special interests and political insiders that want to raise the gas tax by more than $100 million. We have to fund our roads, but rather than make smart decisions on funding our vital infrastructure, they are looking for an easy way out: tax increases on gas.

Arkansas families can't afford to spend anymore at the pump, so we need your help to tell Little Rock to "STOP PUNISHING US AT THE PUMP!"
Want to stay up to date on the gas tax? Learn more at my blog (HERE) and make sure to read my latest post, below: "Could Arkansans Face a $125 Million Tax Hike?".

The latest meeting of the Governor’s Highway Funding Working Group was not a good one for taxpayers. According to a recap of the meeting from Talk Business, several members of the working group called for a massive gas tax hike on Arkansas motorists.

Craig Douglass, executive director of the Arkansas Good Roads Foundation, called for a 10-cent-per-gallon increase in both the gasoline and diesel taxes, which their group claims would represent a more than $125 million tax hike on Arkansans. Douglass’ idea for a tax increase was echoed by the State Chamber CEO Randy Zook, who added, “I’d like to support the idea of a 10-cent fuel tax [increase]. It’s just a matter of timing and implementation.”

If that wasn’t bad enough, $125 million in new taxes wasn’t enough for some. Frank Scott, a member of the Arkansas Highway Commission, recommended phasing in a 15-cent-per-gallon motor fuels tax and then indexing it to inflation.

Not to be outdone, State Senator Bill Sample also came out in support of the 10-cent gas tax hike. Here’s what he said:“I agree partially with Randy, and I hate to disagree with a friend, but I would carry it one step further. It’s fine to start off at a nickel. Tennessee was thinking about 25 cents nine months ago, and they’re still thinking about maybe 15 cents. We can grow that nickel to a dime, but once we get to there, we should have some mechanism to start indexing it because if we don’t we’re going to be up here every year or two years with our hand out.”No, Senator Sample. It’s not “fine” to raise the gas tax on hardworking Arkansas families.

Fortunately, there was one person in the room who weighed in from the perspective of taxpayers. State Representative Andy Davis spoke out against a tax increase, saying:“The idea of a tax increase is politically unfeasible. The Governor asked us to be both creative and to consider political realities…[Raising the gas tax] is neither creative nor politically feasible…From my legislative perspective, the legislature, I don’t believe, is going to consider any new revenue until they are confident that we have turned the couch upside down and shaken every penny out of it that we can.”Representative Davis is right. Raising taxes isn’t creative. It’s lazy. Furthermore, the legislature just cut $100 million in income taxes during the legislative session earlier this year. So why would they turn around and hike the gas tax by $125 million as soon as Arkansas families finally get some much-needed income tax relief?

If you don’t want to see your gas taxes raised, then visit our action center TODAY and send a quick note to your Senators and Representatives. Let your voice be heard!

Tags: Arkansas, Legislature, Governor’s Highway Funding Working Group, want to raise, gas taxes, David Ray, State Director, AFP Arkansas To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

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