Arkansas Highway Chief Says Roads Face Funding Gap
Arkansas' highway chief says the state still needs an additional $200 million a year over the next decade just to maintain its roads, despite extra money coming in from a half-cent sales tax voters approved last year.
Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department Director Scott Bennett told a legislative panel Thursday that he expects to begin issuing bonds in September that will be repaid by the new sales tax. He said he expects work to begin on some of the projects by the end of the year.
Voters last year approved the tax, which will raise about $1.8 billion during the next decade for the state's highway needs. The half-cent tax increase is set to expire by 2023.