I-40 survey shows Arkansas considering extra toll taxes

By David Tanner, Land Line associate editor | 5/29/2013

An online survey asks the public how much extra they’d be willing to pay in tolls to travel Interstate 40 between Little Rock and West Memphis. Truckers are quick to point out that they already pay taxes for every mile they travel on U.S. interstates and that a toll would amount to an extra tax.

The survey, at ark40.com, asks highway users where they enter the highway, where they exit the highway, and how much they’d be willing to pay in extra costs to shave time off their trip.

“Truckers need to know what Arkansas is up to, and the trucking community needs to be on the lookout for state DOTs and others looking to advance toll taxes in their states,” said OOIDA Director of Legislative Affairs Ryan Bowley.

Tolls are not allowed on existing interstates unless a state DOT or other agencies get accepted into the Interstate System Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Pilot Program administered by the Federal Highway Administration. The pilot program allows for only three interstates to be rebuilt or rehabilitated using tolls, and currently all three are taken by states that have preliminary approval – Virginia for I-95, North Carolina for I-95 and Missouri for I-70.

But slots may open back up as lawmakers in North Carolina and Virginia take steps to get their states to back down.

“It looks like Arkansas is taking steps, now that it’s very likely that there could be openings in the interstate tolling pilot program,” Bowley said.

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