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Senate Finance Committee backs gas tax hike
The vote comes with an agreement to use the more than $32 million in estimated additional annual revenue to repay bonds to complete the Interstate 93 expansion project from Salem to Manchester and to fix the state’s road and bridges.
The agreement would allow the state to secure about $80 million in Grant Anticipation Revenue Vehicle, or GARVEE, bonds or bonds to replace the Sarah Mildred Long Bridge in Portsmouth, and would use $40 million in federal funds earmarked for that project to help pay for the I-93 expansion.
Under the plan, $8 million would go back to cities and towns as highway block grants over the next two years, $20 million would go for highway rehabilitation, $26 million for resurfacing, and nearly $30 million over the next four years to fix red listed bridges.
Committee members voting for the gas tax increase proposal were Sens. Peter Bragdon, R-Milford; Bob Odell, R-Lempster; Lou D’Allesandro, D-Manchester, and Sylvia Larsen, D-Concord.
The Senate previously voted 14-9 to preliminarily approve the bill, which was sent to the Senate Finance Committee for review.
Senate Bill 367 calls for the one-time increase to take effect July 1.
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