Arkansas trucking lobby backs off diesel tax plan

Mike

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Arkansas' trucking lobby has backed off its support for a 5-cent per gallon diesel tax increase to pay for state highway improvements and is instead asking Gov. Mike Beebe to ask voters to renew an existing bond program.

The president of the Arkansas Trucking Association asked Beebe last week to not place the diesel tax increase on the ballot. Lane Kidd wrote that the association's polling found solid opposition to the 5-cent increase, which was expected to pay for a $1.2 billion bond program.

Earlier this year, lawmakers gave Beebe the authority to place the diesel tax hike on the ballot. They also approved placing a half-cent sales tax increase to pay for roads on the ballot in 2012. The trucking association had been a major proponent of the diesel tax increase and had planned to campaign heavily for its passage.

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