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Voters asked to renew $575M in highway bonds | Politics

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Voters asked to renew $575M in highway bonds

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Voters are being asked to vote on a proposal to renew a $575 million bond issue to pay for interstate improvements in Arkansas.

The proposal on Tuesday's ballot won't raise the state's diesel
tax from its current 22.5 cents per gallon, and a vote against the
measure won't lower the tax. Rather, backers are asking voters to support continuing a highway bond program with 4 cents of the diesel tax.

The $575 million bond issue is part of a scaled-back part of a plan lawmakers approved this year to tackle billions of dollars in unfunded highway needs across Arkansas.

Gov. Mike Beebe decided to call a special election for the bond renewal instead of a 5-cent increase in the diesel tax.

A recent University of Arkansas poll showed strong support for the proposal. Sixty-three percent of those surveyed said they supported the proposal, while only 28 percent opposed it.

However the Arkansas Trucking Association claimed that polling showed the tax wouldn't pass.

Polls will be open from 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. To find your polling location, click here.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)