Arkansas House panel advances proposal to fund highways

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. An Arkansas House panel has endorsed a proposal to raise fuel taxes for the first time in 20 years and tap into expected casino revenue to increase funding for state highways.

The House Revenue and Tax Committee on Tuesday approved the proposal, a key part of a highway funding plan Gov. Asa Hutchinson and legislative leaders unveiled earlier this month. The proposal now heads to the House for a vote.

The proposal imposes a new wholesale tax on fuel that will raise gas prices by 3 cents a gallon and diesel by 6 cents a gallon. The proposal would also tap into at least $35 million in expected revenue from four new casinos and impose a new registration fee on electric and hybrid vehicles