With 92-percent of the vote counted, the measure was passing 58-percent to 42-percent.
The amendment provides additional funding for state highways, county roads, city streets, bridges, and other surface transportation.
Issue No. 1. levies a temporary sales and use tax of one-half (0.5%) for state highways and bridges, county roads, bridges and other surface transportation, and city streets, bridges and other surface transportation, with the state's portion to secure State of Arkansas general obligation four-lane highway construction and improvement bonds in the total principal amount not to exceed one-point-three billion dollars ($1,300,000,000) for the purpose of constructing and improving four-lane highways.
The amendment prescribes the terms and conditions for the issuance of such bonds which will mature and be paid in full in about ten (10) years, which payment in full shall terminate the temporary sales and use tax; describing the sources of repayment of the bonds; permanently dedicating a portion of the proceeds derived from the existing motor fuel and distillate fuel taxes to the state aid street fund.
Madison Murphy, Chairman of the Arkansas Highway Commission:
"On behalf of the Highway Commission, I want to say I am very pleased with the success of Issue #1 in today's election. I especially want to thank the Move Arkansas Forward Committee and the hundreds of volunteers who worked hard to get our message out to the voters.
"Today's positive vote is evidence that Arkansans believe in the importance of good roads, and that they are willing to invest in themselves and the future of our State. The people of Arkansas were presented with an opportunity and they chose to pursue it. This program does not rely on federal assistance - this is money generated in Arkansas, it stays in Arkansas, and it improves Arkansas roads.
"I also want to recognize the work of the Blue Ribbon Committee on Highway Finance, on which I was fortunate to serve. We met throughout 2009 and 2010 to develop options for improving roadways at all levels in Arkansas - state highways, county roads, and city streets. What became Issue #1 was proposed by the Blue Ribbon Committee, adopted and referred by the Legislature, and ultimately approved by the people. This has truly been a transparent and public process, and I am extremely pleased with the results."
Scott Bennett, Director of the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department:
"We appreciate the opportunity that we have been given. But with that opportunity comes responsibility, a responsibility that we do not take lightly. We have made commitments, both verbally and in writing, and it is now incumbent on us that we fulfill those commitments.
"The Highway Commission and Department must now implement and complete this highway construction program. The new revenue stream will begin in July of 2013, and we will be working diligently throughout the coming months to prepare for beginning construction shortly thereafter. We look forward to fulfilling the public's trust by successfully completing this program within the coming 10 years."