Half-cent sales tax for highways on Ark. ballot

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Backers of a $1.8 billion road improvement plan hope the promise of 4-lane highways and tens of thousands of construction jobs will convince Arkansans to vote in favor of a half-cent sales tax increase that will last up to 10 years.

No organized opposition has emerged against the proposal, which would increase Arkansas' state sales tax to 6.5% from 6% if approved.

The measure is 1 of 2 referred by the Legislature during its 2011 session. The second proposal would allow cities and counties to create Sales Tax Anticipated Revenue, or STAR, districts. They are similar to Tax Increment Financing districts, but use anticipated revenue from sales taxes to pay off the debt.

If the measure passes, the districts would have to be approved at the local level.

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