Searcy Mayor David Morris & White County Judge Mike Lincoln apparently both stated in the local paper a few months ago that they support Issue 1 or the ‘Highway Tax’* that will be on the ballot in November. The half cent tax* increase was referred to voters by the state legislature during last year’s regular session.
A tax on fuel…what a great idea! A tax hike on everything? What a great idea!*
Morris reportedly said that street improvements are his ‘biggest concern’ and said the additional revenue that the city would receive as turnback would be ‘welcomed.’
I find this particularly interesting, given that Searcy voters approved a 1% tax increase in December 2011, specifically for road improvements, and the mayor did publicly & privately promise not to call for any further tax increases until this new tax expires. The tax went into effect on April 1 of this year.
Then we have Mike “Never-met-a-tax-I-didn’t-like” Lincoln who told the paper that we “desperately needs additional funds for highways.” Lincoln also said, “if we want improvements, we are going to have to pay for them.”
This is a line he used repeatedly during his campaign to raise taxes on White County taxpayers by 1% last September. The implication behind this comment is sincerely insulting to the people of White County. Of course, if we want to improve our infrastructure, we will have to pay for it. But ‘paying for it’ and raising taxes to pay for it are two entirely different things, Judge Lincoln.
Voters should also remember that the judge cut $1.5 million from this year’s county road budget, while the county sits on millions of dollars in CDs and other accounts. He uses many straw-man arguments like, “Well, we don’t have enough money in the road fund,” leading voters to believe that only money in the road fund can be used for infrastructure improvements, but this is simply not true.
The fact is: White County government, during Judge Lincoln’s time in office, has enjoyed its highest revenues in history. Our problems in White County do not originate from a lack of revenue. They stem from a lack of leadership.
UPDATE: A delightful Lincoln supporter & serial commenter on this blog has said that the diesel tax will no longer be on the Arkansas ballot in 2012. I have read some discussion in the news about this, but I have not seen anything definitive. Many sites are still reporting that the issue will be on the ballot, including Ballotpedia (whom I cited earlier in this post). They have the ballot question’s status listed as “on the ballot.” TaxRates.com reported on the vote just over a week ago, citing a poll that was conducted on the issue in late March of this year.
I am looking into this and will keep you posted. Whether or not the issue will be on the ballot this year is immaterial to my point in this article. Judge Lincoln wants higher taxes, despite county revenues being higher than ever. And this point is not dependent upon this particular tax issue. He has supported multiple other taxes during his time in office, and I will be outlining those as well.
*This part of the story was edited for clarification.