LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — An unlikely coalition of anti-tax advocates, environmentalists and community groups said Friday it is campaigning against an Arkansas highway sales tax measure backed by the state's Republican governor and top lobbying groups.

The "No Permanent Tax. No on Issue 1" committee that was formed to oppose the highway measure launched its campaign and detailed the groups in its coalition. The proposed constitutional amendment on the November ballot calls for permanently extending a half-cent sales tax voters approved in 2012 for highway needs.

"We all have different perspectives, and once you get outside Issue 1, they get very different," Ryan Norris, the committee chairman and the state director of the Arkansas chapter of Americans for Prosperity, told reporters. "But we are approaching this situation as being friends."

Other groups involved in the campaign include Central Arkansas Sierra Club, Audubon Arkansas, the Arkansas Public Policy Panel and Tea Party groups from northeast Arkansas and Garland County.

Opponents argue the tax will hit poorer residents the hardest and that writing it permanently into the Constitution make it nearly impossible to repeal. Sierra Club and Audubon also raised concerns that the tax plan would contribute to climate change by focusing on highway construction rather than other modes of transportation.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson launched the campaign for the highway tax measure last year, and this week announced he planned to fly around the state on the first day of early voting Oct. 19 to promote it.

The campaign for the measure, "Voter for Roads. Vote for Issue 1," has raised more than $2 million and this month began airing its first TV and radio ads. The proposal has the backing of the state Chamber of Commerce, the Arkansas Trucking Association and the Poultry Federation.

"The promise of a dedicated and long term funding source for roads is exactly what Arkansas drivers want and need," Shannon Newton, the chair of the highway tax campaign and the head of the Arkansas Trucking Association, said in a statement.

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