Libertarian Party of Arkansas Opposed to Issue #1

The Libertarian Party of Arkansas has taken a firm stance against ballot Issue #1, the “Transportation Sales Tax Continuation Amendment.”  A resolution passed by the party’s executive committee cited a number of reasons for the its endorsement of a “NO” vote on Issue #1:

  • Ballot Issue #1 would enshrine a permanent new sales tax in the Arkansas Constitution and the Libertarian Party is opposed to all new taxes, favoring solutions that use free-market principles to address the financing of infrastructure and all other public-interest initiatives.
  • Arkansas already has the 9th highest sales tax rate in the U.S.  And if county and municipal sales taxes are included, Arkansas has the second-highest sales tax rates in the nation.*
  • A general sales tax to support road construction and maintenance violates the principle of holding the users of infrastructure responsible for paying for its costs.
  • The current “temporary” tax remains in effect until June 30, 2023, so there is no need for a precipitous, permanent amendment to the Arkansas Constitution at this time.

The resolution went on to say that Libertarians are generally skeptical of any Amendment to the Arkansas Constitution that is proposed by the sitting legislature.

“All of our candidates supported this resolution and the vote on the Executive Committee was unanimous,” said Michael Pakko, chairman of the Libertarian Party of Arkansas.  “The feedback I’ve received from our supporters is similarly overwhelming.  Libertarians would like to see necessary infrastructure improvements, but let’s have an open and honest dialogue about how to pay for it, instead of just endorsing a permanent extension of the stop-gap measure the legislature asked us to approve in 2012.”

Vote “NO” on Issue #1.

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*An earlier version misstated the second-highest ranking.  Documentation available from the Tax Foundation.

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