AG Rutledge endorses half-cent tax for highways

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 544 views 

Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge has endorsed Issue 1, the highway road tax program that will appear on the November 2020 ballot.

“Today I am joining with Governor Hutchinson and announcing my support for Issue 1. Each year, I travel to every corner of this great State and I know, first-hand, the problems with Arkansas roadways. It is not enough to be aware of the problem or talk about the problem. It is about funding to solve the problem. I have heard from county judges, mayors and Arkansans and I support Issue 1 because I will not rob our state of the projected $8.6 billion in economic activity it would generate over the next decade,” said Rutledge, the state’s first Republican and female Attorney General.

The Vote for Roads, Vote for Issue 1 campaign launched last November to drive support for the legislative-referred ballot issue that seeks a permanent extension of a half-cent sales tax that will expire in 2022.

The half-cent sales tax is expected to raise about $205 million annually for the state and roughly $100 million for cities and counties. It is part of a larger highway funding package approved earlier this year in the Arkansas legislative session. If the tax is not extended after 2022, then the funding for the state, cities and counties will go away.

Shannon Newton, chairwoman of the campaign and the president of the Arkansas Trucking Association, said Rutledge’s support is welcome.

“We are excited to have the full support for Issue 1 from General Rutledge and thank her for her endorsement,” Newton said. “As she has traveled across the state and spoken with Arkansans in every corner, she has personally seen the need for long-term and adequate funding for roads. We appreciate her commitment to support necessary funding that will ensure every Arkansan has access to safe and reliable roads without raising taxes.”

Newton is a guest on this Sunday’s edition of Talk Business & Politics.

The Arkansas Department of Transportation will host 12 public meetings beginning later this month to answer questions about the potential impact of Issue 1.

Vote for Roads. Vote for Issue 1. is a Legislative Question Committee advocating for the passage of Issue 1 in the general election of November 2020.