New Arkansas fuel tax rates go into effect Oct. 1

October 1, 2019

Keith Goble

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The first of October s marks the beginning of new Arkansas fuel tax rate collections to benefit transportation.

Since 1999, the state has collected a 21.5-cent excise tax on gas purchases. A 22-cent rate has been collected on diesel purchases.

Effective Tuesday, a wholesale tax will be collected on fuel purchases. The additional tax amounts to a 3-cent-per-gallon gas tax increase to 24.5 cents. The diesel tax is up 6 cents to 28.5 cents.

The new Arkansas fuel tax will also be indexed to increase by up to one-tenth cent per year over the next decade.

The change in fuel tax collection is part of legislation signed into law earlier this year by Gov. Asa Hutchinson. The additional tax rate collections are estimated to raise $95 million annually for the Arkansas Department of Transportation. Another $13 million will be raised for cities and counties to do road work.

About one-third of the revenue will come from the new wholesale tax.

Alternative fuel vehicle fees

Also included in the new law effective Oct. 1 is increased license fees on hybrid and electric vehicles.

Specifically, the hybrid vehicle fee will increase by $100 per vehicle and the electric vehicle fee will increase by $200 per vehicle.

Current base registration fees range from $17 to $30.

Increasing registration fees for hybrid and electric vehicles will raise $1.9 million per year.

Additional revenue for roads

In addition to the alternative fuel vehicle fees and new Arkansas fuel tax rates, the state DOT now can claim a portion of casino tax revenue.

Any tax revenue beyond $31.2 million annually will be diverted to roads. ArDOT is guaranteed a minimum of $35 million each year.

Keith Goble

Keith Goble has been covering trucking-related laws since 2000. His daily web reports, radio news and “OOIDA’s State Watch” in Land Line Magazine are the industry’s premier sources for information regarding state legislative affairs.