Wednesday, April 2, 2008

The Road Less Funded

The Northwest Arkansas Council of Corporations and Wealthy Business Executives must be feeling a bit less confident about the future prospects for their their wholly-owned subsidiary Regional Mobility Authority. That's their new bureaucracy with the power of eminent domain and taxing to fund their two pet projects -- the Bella Vista Bypass and the Springdale Bypass -- to provide concrete slabs to help the trucking industry and a certain discount retailer.

Voting against Governor Beebe's plan to raise the severance tax and dedicate the revenues to state highways and city and county transportation projects were Representative Donna Hutchinson (R-Bella Vista) and Representatives Jon Woods (R-Springdale) and Eric Harris (R-Springdale), along with Mark Martin (R-Prairie Grove), Keven Anderson (R-Rogers), and Aaron Burkes (R-Lowell).

If the state legislators from Bella Vista and Springdale think we already have enough highways in their districts and vote against state highway funds, why should the state Highway Commission spend another penny of state money on those bypass projects? And why should the citizens of Washington and Benton Counties be expected to raise our propety or sales taxes to build those bypasses?

Let's consider some other priorities for transportation in Northwest Arkansas.

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