Searcy Mayor, White County Judge Support Highway* Tax Hike – Update

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.” 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.



  1. April

    Politicians love taxes!!! Money is like meth to our politicians! They can never get enough!!
    What ever happen to ,”We the people!”.
    My question to these politicians is there anything in your budget that you can cut?
    I have never seem anything get cut. Can somebody tell me what is wrong with cutting back on the size of Government? We need smaller government and less taxes!
    We need to grow freedom!

  2. Jake Pearrow

    And Nic I don’t think you are lying, it just seems you suck at gathering/reporting actual facts. A simple phone call to the governors office or to one of our local representatives would quickly clear this up. I could Google their phone numbers for you if you would like?

    • Arkansas Patriot

      Jake, you still have not provided one shred of evidence that I am mistaken on these facts. And let me remind you that is the paper that originally reported this story. Perhaps you should direct your anger towards them–or does that not fit your agenda?

      I’m not going to permit you to make baseless attacks against members of this blog. Provide some evidence or stop commenting. I will delete any future smearing comments that are not based in fact.

      • Jake Pearrow

        If you are going to delete comments based on facts with no supporting evidence then you should do some house cleaning of you own articles, seeing as how you hardly ever site anything you write. Practice what you preach. And there is no anger nor agenda, I simply point out an erroneous fact in your article, as I said make a quick call to the the rep to clear it up, it’s not that hard.

      • One Voter

        I just stumbled upon this blog today and thought I might finally find some relevant info better than the Citizen, but the above quote made me wonder.


        “I will delete any future smearing comments that are not based in fact.”


      • Arkansas Patriot

        Ballotpedia is a fairly respected site. SOS office has referenced it as well. wasn’t cited.

        And that quote was to a specific reader regarding specific smears. But for what it’s worth, Tom asked a question, he didn’t level an accusation.

        Thanks for reading! NHH

  3. Aaron Brooks

    From what the Secretary of State’s office says, Issue One will be on the ballot. Issue One is not the 5 cent diesel tax though. Beebe pulled that. It is a half cent sales tax that I believe all or most of our Republican senators/representatives from White County are supporting. If that is the case, Nic, and you are still against that tax, will call those elected officials out too? I haven’t looked any further into the tax than that. Not sure what it is for. Please let us know if you can confirm this and what your position on it is. Thanks!

    • Arkansas Patriot

      You are correct that Issue 1 is not the diesel tax. I am working on a follow-up. However, the tax that is on the ballot is the severance tax and it is opposed by all local officials in White County as far as I know. If you can find someone who is supporting it, yes, I would be happy to call them out.

      Or are you talking about the highway tax?

      • Aaron Brooks

        Sounds fair enough. I may have misunderstood. If it is indeed the severance tax, then you are correct, I know of zero WC officials supporting it either. I thought it was something different though. Thanks for working to clarify this!

  4. Pingback: Correction: Judge Lincoln Supports State Sales & Use Tax Hike «
  5. Stephen McCain

    I am curious as to what all responsibilities the county judge has. If it is just tending to the county’s roads then judge Lincoln has failed miserably. The roads in my area are in almost un-drivable condition, thanks to all the gas trucks. I am curious as to whether the gas companies have to reimburse the county for destroying our roads?

    • Bill Haynie

      Mr. McCain, Roads and county property should be the main part of the judges job. I feel the county judge should first listen and then act when a road complaint is filed. We need to do a lot more repairing of the roads we have and not taking in more substandard roads that are going to cost more money to repair and setup. We need to invest in what we have. Feel free to call me anytime if I can help you in any way.

      Bill Haynie

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