Arkansas counties and cities would receive a windfall in state turnback monies for street and road work if a proposed constitutional amendment is approved by voters in the November general election.

Arkansas counties and cities would receive a windfall in state turnback monies for street and road work if a proposed constitutional amendment is approved by voters in the November general election.

The amendment, if adopted, would authorize a temporary one-half cent sales tax that would generate an estimated $2.3 billion over a 10-year period, with cities and counties receiving a projected $334.6 million, according to the sponsoring Move Arkansas Forward organization. The temporary levy would expire after a decade and would not apply to food and medicine.

The Highway Revenue Distribution Act of 1965 authorized 30 percent of highway revenues to be split equally between cities and counties.

In addition to the state turnback monies shared by the counties and cities, the proposed amendment would dedicate one-cent of the existing motor fuels tax to be earmarked exclusively for city streets. The provision would be permanent and modeled after the state aid county fund.

Estimated annual gross receipts from the temporary tax by counties and cities in Southeast Arkansas:

• Arkansas County, $409,520; Almyra, $5,041; DeWitt, $58,637; Gillett, $12,308; Humphrey, $9,921; St. Charles, $4,097; and Stuttgart, $166,115.

• Bradley County, $288,300; Banks, $2,209; Hermitage, $14,784; and Warren, $106,926.

• Chicot County, $291,939; Dermott, $41,253; Eudora, $40,416; and Lake Village, $45,866.

• Cleveland County, $273,301; Kingsland, $7,962; and Rison, $23,939.

• Dallas County, $269,071; Carthage, $6,110; Fordyce, $76,592; and Sparkman, $7,606;

• Desha County, $314,582; Arkansas City, $6,519; Dumas, $83,824; McGehee, $75,149; Mitchellville, $6,412; Reed, $2,512; and Watson, $3,758.

• Drew County, $365,344; Jerome, $695; Monticello, $168,627; Tillar, $4,008; Wilmar, $9,102; and Winchester, $2,975.

• Grant County, $337,204; Leola, $8,924; Poyen, $5,166; Prattsville, $5,433; Sheridan, $81,989; and Tull, $7,980.

• Jefferson County, $650,482; Altheimer, $17,527; Pine Bluff, $874,270; Redfield, $23,102; Sherrill, $1,496; Wabbaseka, $4,542; and White Hall, $98,430.

• Lincoln County, $301,427; Gould, $14,909; Grady, $7,998; and Star City, $40,505.

The state’s 70 percent portion of the temporary tax would be allocated for four-lane highway construction bonds to continue the effort to expand the wider roadways to connect all regions of the state, increasing lanes to reduce congestion on high traffic corridors, improve economic development and spur job creation.

“Arkansans in all 75 counties overwhelmingly supported the interstate program last year,” said Madison Murphy of El Dorado, chairman of the Arkansas Highway Commission and co-chairman of Move Arkansas Forward. “This is the next step in improving state highways, county roads and city streets, while creating over 40,000 jobs in process.”

Job creation would be a major benefit of the construction projects that would be financed with the temporary tax, according to Move Arkansas Forward. The organization estimated 41,700 jobs would be created with the state’s share of revenues from the tax, while as many as 18,000 additional jobs would be supported at the municipal and county levels through construction and maintenance projects funded with more than $669 million.