Arkansas truckers protest sales tax

| 10/15/2002

About two dozen truckers convoyed Saturday in Arkansas to protest what they call an unfair sales tax on their rigs, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported. One state lawmaker says he's listening.

The 40-mile trek from Brinkley to Stuttgart was the second such protest in as many months. It is part of an ongoing effort by truckers to persuade state lawmakers to eliminate the state sales tax on their trucks.

Truckers point out it has been cheaper for them to cross into neighboring Oklahoma, create out-of-state mailing addresses and save on Arkansas sales tax. But a recent Oklahoma court ruling is forcing the drivers back home, and Arkansas wants them to open their wallets and pay a retroactive sales tax on truck purchases made during the past three years.

Arkansas Rep. Don House (D-Walnut Ridge)expects to introduce legislation when the General Assembly reconvenes next year that would eliminate the state's sales tax on big rigs. House said his bill would raise other fees, such as truck registration and tag licensing costs, to offset losses if the tax is repealed.