Little Rock lawyer Sheffield Nelson has filed a revision with the secretary of state’s office to his proposal that would amend the Arkansas constitution and increase the state severance tax on natural gas to help fund maintenance of city, county and state roads.
The plan would allocate 8% of the revenues to city street repair efforts, with the rest divided among the state and counties for road projects.
The severance tax would be set at 7% of the market value of the gas produced in Arkansas. The current level of 5% was raised from 1.25% in 2008.
The name and ballot title of the effort had already been accepted by state officials. Nelson’s new version connects the plan to a bill passed by the General Assembly earlier this year.
Act 1032 established a panel of mayors to allocate the severance tax revenue to the cities, but did not fund the effort.
The severance tax generated $54.6 million from November 2009 to October 2010, but Nelson said the proposed measure would have brought in $250 million over that span.
He said the money is needed because heavy trucks used in the exploration and production of natural gas in northwest Arkansas have caused damage to streets that the local governments cannot afford to repair.