JONESBORO,Ark- Issue 1 was passed on Tuesday, establishing a permanent sales tax increase that will be used to fund improvements to Arkansas roads and highways.
This extended half-cent tax has been in place since 2012, which was set to expire in 2023, but is now permanent in Arkansas after it was passed on Tuesday.
“I’m happy for that, it provides certainty and gives both the counties and the cities and the highway department the ability to make some long term plans for what they want to do with that dedicated revenue stream,” Craighead County Judge, Marvin Day said.
Many of the projects in Northeast Arkansas consist of the construction on I-555, the bridges and overpasses of railroads in Jonesboro to eliminate traffic backups, and the bypass on 412 south of Paragould.
Day says the funds will be beneficial to the rural areas in Northeast Arkansas, especially for the farmers.
He says with the way the county is growing, the passing of issue one was crucial for the future of Craighead County.
“Good roads are important to the farmers they’re important to our industrial base. You look back interstate 555 that’s a big thing for these international companies to have their facility located on an interstate,” Day said.
Day also shared how people may not like to pay taxes but was encouraged to know on election night local legislators are working to reduce the tax burden on citizens.
“That’s encouraging to me. I’m really hopefully that there are other ways that they can reduce the sales tax burden through the state level,” Day said.
Day says in the beginning he wasn't sure if the issue would get approved but are glad, they can start planning on ways to improve and maintain the paved roads.