An Arkansas constitutional amendment authorizing up to $1.3 billion of state highway construction bonds will be Issue 1 on the Nov. 6 ballot.

The amendment would increase the state sales tax by 0.5% for 10 years to support construction of a network of four-lane highways linking major cities.

The state highway measure is one of two constitutional amendments placed on the ballot by the 2012 General Assembly.

If voters agree, the state would receive 70% of the additional revenue, or about $160 million a year. Local governments will share 30% of the revenue, approximately $67 million a year, for road work.

State elections director Martha Adcock said the measure will be called “An Amendment to Provide Additional Funding for State Highways, County Roads, City Streets, Bridges and Other Surface Transportation.”

The other proposed amendment, Issue 2, would allow cities and counties to establish development districts and to finance necessary infrastructure projects with bonds supported by local sales taxes.

Local governments could also ask voters to levy a sales tax and issue debt to eliminate unfunded liabilities of closed local police and fire pension plans.

Supporters last week filed petitions seeking spots on the ballot for amendments that would increase the state severance tax on natural gas, allow casino gambling in specified counties and establish a system for the use of medicinal marijuana.

The measures will go on the November ballot if the petitions contain 62,507 valid voter signatures.

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