Saturday, September 8, 2012

The highway sales tax projects: Worth a sales tax?

Posted By on Sat, Sep 8, 2012 at 5:57 AM

CRAIG DOUGLASS: No bridges to nowhere in highway plan.
  • CRAIG DOUGLASS: No 'bridges to nowhere' in highway plan.
Craig Douglass, who's knocking down $20,000 plus a month to promote a proposed sales tax primarily intended to pay for a four-lane construction program in Arkansas, objects to my critical remark yesterday about the value of four-lane construction as an economic development tool, particularly in rural areas.

He responds with the list of the projects, heavily weighted to populous counties (and, I should add, heavily weighted to further general taxpayer subsidy of encouraging inefficient, high fuel consumption of suburban development. When the freeway widening of a six-lane route to Cabot is completed, state taxpayers will then be asked to pay a few more pennies for their jeans and T-shirts to widen it to eight lanes). He did NOT respond with an itemization of how he's spent the $600,000 or so that has passed through his hands as campaign consultant, the biggest current abuser of the state ethics reporting law. In this scam, which I've protested to the Ethics Commission and which it vows to correct, consultants like Douglass are used as pass-throughs for spending that is never itemized. Just what has Douglass spent the money on? We don't know and won't know.

But for the record, the list follows of the four-lane projects that would be financed. There are no "bridges to nowhere" on this list, Douglass says. (The sales tax also would provide some money for cities and counties, though not nearly so much as the far preferable gas severance tax initiative that fell apart):

Central Arkansas
• Widening of US Hwy 70 to four lanes between I-30 and Hot Springs
• Continuation of widening US Hwy 270 to four lanes from Hot Springs westward
• Completion of widening US Hwy 64 to four lanes between Conway and Beebe
• Completion of widening I-40 to six lanes between Little Rock and Conway
• Completion of widening US Hwy 67 to six lanes from Jacksonville to Cabot
• Improvements to I-30 connecting Little Rock and North Little Rock, including widening the I-30 Arkansas River Bridge (120,000 cars a day)
• Continuation of widening I-630 in Little Rock from Baptist Hospital to University Ave.

Northwest Arkansas
• Widening I-540 to six lanes between Fayetteville and Bentonville
• Completion of the initial two lanes of the future four-lane Bella Vista bypass
• Beginning four-lane construction of the US Hwy 412 Springdale bypass from I-540 to the Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport (XNA) connector

South Arkansas
• Completion of widening US Hwy 425 to four lanes from Hamburg to the Louisiana line
• Completion of widening US Hwy 167 to four lanes between I-530 and El Dorado
• Beginning the widening of US Hwy 82 to four lanes from El Dorado to Magnolia to Texarkana

Northeast Arkansas
• Completion of widening US Hwy 412 to four lanes between Paragould and Walnut Ridge
• Completion of widening State Hwy 18 to four lanes between Jonesboro and Blytheville (to I-55)

East Arkansas
• Continuation of widening US Hwy 64 to four lanes between Marion and Wynne

North/North Central Arkansas
• Continuation of widening US Hwy 65 to four lanes between Harrison and Clinton

Tags: , , , ,

Favorite

Speaking of...

Comments (12)

Showing 1-12 of 12

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-12 of 12

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • The 'unraveling' of the Clinton Foundation

    Clinton Foundation President Donna Shalala talks to NPR about work underway to 'unravel' the Clinton Foundation in the event of a Hillary Clinton presidency.
    • Aug 24, 2016
  • Expanding horizons through UA basketball

    The Razorback basketball team did more than get in some early work on basketball skills with a trip to Spain, they broadened their cultural horizons, writes Athletic Director Jeff Long in a report on the trip.
    • Aug 24, 2016
  • That time Asa Hutchinson sort of endorsed medical marijuana

    Advocates of medical marijuana are circulating a YouTube video of a 2011 debate at the University of Arkansas between Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance, and Asa Hutchinson, not then governor but speaking as a former DEA Administrator and congressman. Hutchinson seemed open to medical use of marijuana.
    • Aug 24, 2016
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Father and son turned away from "Muslim-free" Hot Springs gun range for being brown

    A college student and his dad who visited a gun range over the weekend for some bonding time over target practice were told to leave after the owner grew suspicious that the pair were...Muslims! Nope, not Muslims — they just happened to not be white. Either way, though, it's rank discrimination.
    • Jan 13, 2015
  • Arkansas Advocates: Hutchinson tax plan omits poorest workers

    Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families has praise for parts of Gov. Asa Hutchinson's tax cut proposal, but objects to the omission of lowest paid workers from benefits.
    • Jan 23, 2015
  • Is Arkansas planning to withdraw from PARCC, the Common Core testing consortium?

    Rep. Mark Lowery, a Republican from Maumelle, has introduced a bill that would put the brakes on Arkansas's implementation of standardized testing based on Common Core State Standards. Lowery says the bill is motivated in part because legislators have been told by ADE officials, unofficially, that "the PARCC contract will not be renewed" beyond the current academic year.
    • Feb 3, 2015

Most Shared

  • Everything new is old when it comes to Arkansas education

    Depressed yet? No? Then read Ernest Dumas' prediction of what's likely to come of a new way of providing state money to higher education — money allocated on performance.
  • AAC: In the black

    The leadership of the Arkansas Arts Center announced at its annual meeting and luncheon today that it has just completed its sixth year in the black, continuing its recovery from a budget black hole created by an expensive blockbuster exhibition, "World of the Pharaohs."

Most Viewed

  • ACLU says hot check court in Sherwood operates as illegal debtors' prison

    The ACLU lawsuit over unconstitutional jailing of people for unpaid fines is over practices in the hot check court operated in Sherwood.
  • Group forms to fight medical marijuana

    A coalition of powerful lobbying groups filed papers with the Arkansas Ethics Commission Tuesday to fight medical marijuana issues headed for the November ballot.
  • Obamacare proves popular in Arkansas

    The state Department of Human Services' monthly report on enrollment in the Private Option health insurance program — Arkansas's version of the Medicaid expansion enabled by Obamacare, or the federal Affordable Care Act — shows even broader popularity than expected, some 300,000 covered against an expected 250,000.
  • Eldridge raps Boozman for Florida trip while ducking debates

    Conner Eldridge, the Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate, is knocking Republican opponent, incumbent Sen. John Boozman, for traveling to Florida this week while refusing to meet Eldridge for debate in Arkansas.
  • Meeting set Sept. 13 on Capitol monuments

    Secretary of State Mark Martin has scheduled a meeting Sept. 13 by the Capitol Arts and Grounds Commission to consider monuments proposed for the Capitol — a Ten Commandments monument authorized by the legislature and a Satanic Temple proposal. Others may emerge.

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

© 2016 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation