Home » News » Politics » State Government
House committees approve gas tax increase
Tuesday the Joint House Public Works and Highways, and Ways and Means committees voted 26-11 to approve Senate Bill 367 after three Republican attempts to change the bill were defeated on close votes.
Campbell said in the 23 years since the last increase, the price of goods needed for highways and bridges such as asphalt and steel has increased tremendously.
“Before jumping into one of the largest tax increases in recent history, we need to take a hard look at the intricacies of this bill and the system by which the revenue would be used,” said House Minority Leader Gene Chandler, R-Bartlett. “Republicans offered reasonable amendments to fix some of our concerns, but none were adopted.”
“If the Legislature can’t even follow a reasonable standing law regarding highway funds, how can people have any confidence in the laws we pass? People don’t have enough faith the money will go were we say it will go,” Chandler said.
But Campbell said most of the state will not see one penny of the money for expansion, noting the state’s 10-year highway plan already allocates $50 million for the expansion.
Republicans proposed removing the provision to eliminate the Exit 12 ramp toll on the F.E. Everett Turnpike in Merrimack. The ramp toll elimination is a key element for some senators including former Senate President Peter Bragdon, R-Milford, and Senate President Chuck Morse, R-Salem, who opposed the bill.
When that amendment failed on a 16-15 vote, Graham proposed turning Continental Boulevard, which the state maintains, to the town of Merrimack. That amendment failed on an 18-17 vote.
After the vote, Robert Sculley, president of the NH Transport Association, which opposed the bill said, “This is just the beginning. You heard the chair, there is no money for operations,” referring to the Department of Transportation, which faces major layoffs in the future without more money.
Under the proposal, the increase would be repealed after $200 million in bonds are paid off over 16 to 20 years.
The agreement allows the state to secure about $80 million in Grant Anticipation Revenue Vehicle bonds or GARVEE bonds to replace the Sarah Mildred Long Bridge in Portsmouth, and use $40 million in federal funds earmarked for that project to help pay for the I-93 expansion.
The bill has the support of business groups, the construction industry and the NH Municipal Association.
If the bill passes unchanged it will go to Gov. Maggie Hassan, who has said she will sign it.
READER COMMENTS: 20
- More angst within Nashua Historical Society - 0
- Plan to amend Derry property code subject of hearing - 0
- Derry housing complex can apply for CDBG grant - 0
- Derry council discusses ethical considerations - 0
- Manchester mayor asks aldermen to hold abandonded property owners accountable - 0
- Residents given Londonderry playing field priority - 0
- Manchester airport stalls wrecking ball looming over farmhouse - 4
- Gorham property auction may help town tax rolls - 0
- Nashua board questions alcohol sales at performances at auditorium in middle school - 1
READER COMMENTS: 0
- Report: Student opens fire at Washington state high school; gunman reported dead - 2
- Man who died in Manchester blaze identified as Vietnam War-era veteran; cigarette was fire cause - 0
- Gov. Hassan, Havenstein spar over higher education during Manchester Chamber debate - 3
- Accident results in DWI charge for Hudson man - 0
- College Hockey: UNH freshman Clark ready, willing and able - 0
- Home-grown talent has UNH women's cross country out in front - 0
- Roger Brown's First and 10: Playoff picture will get clearer - 1
- New players, new coach, new look for Monarchs in home opener tonight - 0
- Making it up: Shameless state Senate attacks - 5
Blackwater verdict stuns NH dad
Fixing Obamacare: Shaheen offers no way out
A good first impression
Thieves target cars in Hollis neighborhood