Last-ditch appeal made to revive plan

Tuesday, May 16th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

(Oklahoma City-AP) -- An Oklahoma state lawmaker has made a last-ditch effort to revive a proposed temporary one-cent gas tax increase before the people to bring high-speed rail service to Oklahoma.

State Senator Dave Herbert says Oklahoma needs to act this year or miss out on the plan.

He made his appeal to the Oklahoma House and the governor's office.

The Senate passed Herbert's legislation earlier in the session. But it was derailed in the House because of opposition from the trucking industry and concerns over sending a tax increase to the voters in an election year.

Herbert says it might be better politically to pass the tax next year. But he says next year will be too late.

Federal funding for Amtrak's Heartland Flyer from Oklahoma City to Fort Worth will run out on May 31, 2002, leaving Oklahoma again without Amtrak service.

Supporters of the legislation say Oklahoma can generate $4 in federal money to upgrade rail lines for every $1 in revenue provided by the state.