Win-win for Arkansas

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - VOICES -

Wow! Five years ago we were pay­ing $3.78 per gal­lon for reg­u­lar gas; four years ago $3.50; three years ago $3.38; two years ago $2.47 and to­day we are pay­ing less than $2 in many places. What a win for the Arkansas con­sumer.

But, sadly, we are still driv­ing around on the same old rough, un­der­funded, al­ways be­hind in re­pair and con­struc­tion roads be­cause of in­suf­fi­cient funds.

Arkansas is miss­ing a bo­nanza by not us­ing some of these tremen­dous sav­ings to catch up on our high­way fund­ing. If I am sav­ing $1 to $1.50 per gal­lon, why wouldn’t I be will­ing (even ea­ger) to put 10 cents or so into fix­ing our high­ways? I am as much of a “no new taxes” con­ser­va­tive as any­one, but this is a no-brainer.

One so­lu­tion might be to leave the cur­rent gas tax as is and in ad­di­tion col­lect a small tax per gal­lon on a slid­ing scale based on the av­er­age price of reg­u­lar gas per gal­lon across the state. As prices rise, the spe­cial tax would de­crease un­til it reached a point where it would cease. When gas prices go back down, the spe­cial tax kicks in again—the lower the price, the more the spe­cial tax.

This is not only a win for Arkansas but a win-win. We get to en­joy and have more money in our pock­ets, but we also get to en­joy the ben­e­fits of bet­ter roads. ED MER­RICK Ben­ton

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