Tax holiday mania UPDATE | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Tax holiday mania UPDATE

Posted By on Tue, May 6, 2008 at 11:12 AM

We've all heard that a few presidential candidates want to take a summer break from the 18.4 cent federal gas tax, a suggestion that hundreds -- hundreds! -- of economists have called irrational. Now some states are proposing to eliminate their state gas taxes for the summer months. Florida Governor Charlie Christ -- who, according to the story, considers it his job to "respond to the people and try to make them happy” -- has been one of the main backers for a state-level cut.

No mention of Arkansas, which is not surprising, since a gas tax holiday would drain state coffers of all-important highway dollars. This map shows that gas prices in Arkansas are still low compared to the nation; our 22 cent gas tax is on the low end as well. The NY  Times estimates that a summer tax holiday in Arkansas would save people $39.64 over the course of three months.

UPDATE: Max here. I asked Matt DeCample last week about how Gov. Mike Beebe might feel about a state gas tax holiday. No response so far. Perhaps he thought I was joking. I was, kind of.

UPDATE II: For the record, DeCample says that the governor does NOT favor a gas tax holiday in Arkansas. "It's the sole source of highway funding," he said. "You'd be getting into public safety issues if you squeezed that money. It's for maintenance and repair of highways." Proper answer, of course.

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