The Arkansas Highway Commission has set a regional meeting to solicit taxpayer input about road projects in the area and about future funding, including the possibility of making a state sales tax permanent.

The meeting, which is set for Jan. 21 in Monticello, is one of 12 scheduled around the state. The Monticello meeting will start at 5:30 P.M., and will be at the UAM Fine Arts Center, 371 University Drive, in Monticello.

During the meeting, which will have an open house session and a formal presentation about highway conditions and funding, members of the public will be able to view displays about the Arkansas Department of Transportation’s work.

They will also be able to speak with ArDOT staff about road projects and conditions.

A news release from the Highway Commission said that the presentation will discuss, among other things, “the impact that continuation of the half-cent (highway) sales tax would have in funding system preservation and new capital projects moving forward.”

The meetings come in advance of a proposed constitutional amendment for the state, which would make the half-cent sales tax now on the books permanent. The tax was first adopted in 2012, and is set to expire after 10 years.

The tax is projected to generate $43 million to cities and counties and $205 million annually for the highway department.

Those who cannot attend the meeting at Monticello can still find out more or voice their opinions at meetings in West Memphis, Harrison, Texarkana, Mena, Fort Smith, Hot Springs, Maumelle, Springdale, Batesville, Jonesboro and El Dorado.

The El Dorado meeting will be 5:30 p.m. April 2 at the El Dorado Municipal Auditorium at 100 W. Eighth St., in El Dorado.

The content of each meeting is slated to be identical.

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