bill in New Mexico to finance $1.6 billion in highway construction
and repairs is heading to Gov. Bill Richardson for approval. The
plan includes $60 million a year in fee and tax increases.
plan won final approval Nov. 5 when the House voted 39-29 to accept
a Senate-passed version of the highway-financing package, Albuquerque’s KOB TV reported.
highway measure will raise the state’s diesel tax from 18 cents
a gallon to 21 cents. The proposal increases vehicle registration
fees by 33 percent and imposes a 38 percent increase in the weight-distance
tax. It also would require the state to process overweight permits
for truck drivers within 24 hours.
to the bill’s passage, Richardson told The Santa Fe New
Mexican the increases would mainly affect out-of-state truckers.
think they’re reasonable fee increases,” he said. “These trucks,
out-of-state trucks, are damaging our highways. They’re welcome
here, but they should pay more.”
road projects are proposed in the plan, funded by additional dollars
the bill would generate. Those include:
- Improvements on I-25 between Santa Fe and Bernalillo;
of the Coors Interchange along I-40 in Albuquerque;
a third lane to I-25 in both directions between Albuquerque and
Santa Fe; and
U.S. 64 from Raton to Clayton to four lanes.