The open line: Plus, highway money options | Arkansas Blog

Thursday, November 19, 2015

The open line: Plus, highway money options

Posted By on Thu, Nov 19, 2015 at 3:53 PM

Here's the open line and today's news video. Also:

* HIGHWAY MONEY: One of Gov. Asa Hutchinson's many task forces, this one on money to maintain and build highways, met today and tossed out some of the same old same old ideas for finding money. To wit:

* Raising fuel taxes (they had to mention the only sensible option, whether it be the gallon tax or a sales tax on fuel, but they didn't actually endorse it because they know the Republican legislature won't pass it);

* Putting a fee on hybrid and electric vehicles that don't guzzle gas. (Sure, only hippy dippy liberal pinkos drive those things. Stick 'em for conserving fuel, but whatever you do don't tax the truckers who cause the real damage.);

* And "gradually" shifting current general revenue to highways (That's the ticket! Freebie. When the gradual transition is complete and services previously supported have been sufficiently starved of growth revenue to begin cratering, maybe then somebody will realize the inescapable — there is no free lunch).

The task force didn't formally recommend anything. Just gave the governor "options" — some more optional than others, as they well knew.

Hey, here's an idea. Save $600 million quickly and another $4 billion over the long term by stopping that Interstate 30 concrete pour in Little Rock.

UPDATE: Gov. Asa Hutchinson says he'll reject any proposal that increases state revenue.

In other words, the task force was a waste of tiime. Hutchinson will pay for highways only by taking it from some other public purpose,

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