Arkansas lawmakers voted on March 7 to place a half-cent sales tax increase renewal on the 2020 ballot. The measure, originally approved in 2012, is projected to raise approximately $205 million annually for state highways. House Joint Resolution 1018 (HJR 1018) is part of a larger transportation investment package proposed by Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R). The other components— adding a variable-rate gas tax formula based on the average wholesale price of fuel, implementing new electric and hybrid motor vehicle registration fees, and utilizing a portion of casino revenues— received preliminary approval by the legislature as Senate Bill 336 (SB 336) and are expected to be signed into law by the governor soon. SB 336 is expected to generate an additional $100 million annually on top of HJR 1018.
Lawmakers in Ohio are making progress on their own transportation revenue legislation. On March 7 the House gave the first round of approval for a measure to increase the state gas tax by 10.7 cents-per-gallon and the state diesel tax by 20 cents-per-gallon, as well as an annual registration fee of $200 for electric motor vehicles and $100 for hybrid motor vehicles. The bill would also permit municipalities and townships to add a $5 motor vehicle registration fee to fund local infrastructure projects. Additionally, a study to assess the future of the state’s transportation infrastructure and investment would be convened. The original proposal by Gov. Mike Dewine (R) included a larger gas tax increase that would have been tied to changes in the Consumer Price Index, but was decreased in its first committee. House Bill 62, which now goes before the Senate for consideration, is estimated to generate $872 million annually and needs to be approved by the March 31 legislative deadline.
ARTBA-TIAC provides live updates on ongoing state transportation funding legislation across the U.S. and weekly updates through its blog at www.transportationinvestment.org.