The highway sales tax projects: Worth a sales tax? | Arkansas Blog

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: , , , ,

From the ArkTimes store

Favorite

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

  • Womack gets questions. He doesn't answer

    The resistance mustered a turnout for a rare public appearance by U.S. Rep. Steve Womack, which meant a ferry ride from Peel, Ark., and a drive almost to Missouri. He didn't seem happy to see them.
    • Aug 22, 2017
  • Democratic Party calls for resignation of Jake Files

    The Arkansas Democratic Party says Republican Sen. Jake Files of Fort Smith should resign over news about handling of state General Improvement Fund money that wound up with him, not the project for which it was intended.
    • Aug 22, 2017
  • Rutledge touts effort to allow discrimination against gay people

    Attorney General Leslie Rutledge is braying about her intervention in yet another out-of-state lawsuit — this one to protect a Washington state florist who doesn't want to sell flowers to gay people for use at their wedding.
    • Aug 22, 2017
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Charter school accountability: Non-existent in Arkansas

    A state audit finds charter school spending violated state law, but the state Education Department says it has no responsibility for ensuring proper management of charter schools. Say what?
    • Mar 5, 2016
  • City Board votes to table homeless feeding ordinance for 8 weeks, study with commission

    The Little Rock Board of Directors voted tonight to table for eight weeks an ordinance that homeless advocates say would severely limit the ability of charities to feed homeless people in city parks. Before the ordinance was punted, Vice Mayor Kathy Webb proposed a nine-member commission to study the issue and make recommendations to the board.
    • May 16, 2017
  • Policy group urges opposition to new charter seats in Little Rock

    The Arkansas Public Policy Panel is urging supporters of the Little Rock School District to tell state Board of Education members they oppose applications to be heard this week to dramatically expand the number of charter school seats in the Little Rock School District.
    • Mar 9, 2016

Most Shared

Most Viewed

  • Troubles mount for Sen. Jake Files. Maybe others, too

    Sen. Jakes Files has serious problems, based on an FBI affidavit filed Monday in Fort Smith. One new question is how many other legislators have problems based on spending of state surplus money?
  • Democratic Party calls for resignation of Jake Files

    The Arkansas Democratic Party says Republican Sen. Jake Files of Fort Smith should resign over news about handling of state General Improvement Fund money that wound up with him, not the project for which it was intended.
  • Womack gets questions. He doesn't answer

    The resistance mustered a turnout for a rare public appearance by U.S. Rep. Steve Womack, which meant a ferry ride from Peel, Ark., and a drive almost to Missouri. He didn't seem happy to see them.
  • Lawsuit filed against 'election integrity' commission

    A voting rights group has filed a lawsuit against the so-called election integrity commission that's likely nothing a Trump vehicle for voter roll purges. Talking Points Memo reports.
  • Artist Dale Chihuly's court battle

    Dale Chihuly, the visionary artist whose work is currently on exhibit at Crystal Bridges, is the subject of a New York Times feature today about an ongoing court battle and the condition of the 75-year-old artist.

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Tuesday's open line

    • "We have to get rid of the filibuster rule."

      Oh, boy.

    • on August 22, 2017
  • Re: Tuesday's open line

    • "We're gonna have our wall. We're gonna get our wall." "Immigrants." "Aliens." "Drugs pouring over."…

    • on August 22, 2017
  • Re: Tuesday's open line

    • Norma =35 postings

      Others =15 postings

      Atta girl.

    • on August 22, 2017

Blogroll

 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation