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January 16. 2013 12:32PM

Hassan rejects beer tax proposal

CONCORD - Gov. Maggie Hassan today rejected a proposal to boost the beer tax from 30 to 40 cents a gallon, but said she is willing to listen to proposals for additional revenue for the state's transportation infrastructure.

Speaking to reporters after the Executive Council meeting, Hassan said, "I want to let the people of New Hampshire know I oppose increasing the beer tax and I will veto it if it gets to my desk."

She said the discussion should be about jobs and the economy and not about increasing the beer tax.

A state representative has introduced a bill to increase the beer tax by 10 cents per gallon, which would produce about $4 million. The increase is opposed by local and national brewers as well as wholesalers who pay the tax.

Hassan was non-committal on proposed legislation from House Public Works Committee Chair David Campbell, D-Nashua, that would increase the gasoline tax by four cents for three years and auto registrations by $5 a year for three years to fund rehabilitating the state's highways and bridges.

"Obviously we need to meet the infrastructure needs in our state," Hassan said, noting it is her administration's priority along with completing the Interstate 93 expansion from Salem to Manchester.

She said there are a number of efforts being discussed and is waiting for consensus on all the proposals.

But she said New Hampshire has to develop its own way of dealing with its infrastructure challenge.

Massachusetts Deval Patrick was expected to unveil a massive program to improve his state's infrastructure and education today.


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