New Hampshire lawmaker suggests fuel tax holiday

| 5/12/2006

A Republican gubernatorial hopeful in New Hampshire is calling for a suspension of the state’s per-gallon tax on diesel and gasoline for the summer.

Rep. Jim Coburn, R-Windham, said he offered the tax holiday idea as a way to give residents and visitors a break.

“We need to do something now to prevent a hit to our summer tourist dollars,” Coburn said in a written statement.

Coburn’s call to gather state leaders in Concord to discuss lifting some, or all, of the 18.3-cent-per-gallon tax has gone unanswered.

Democrats and even fellow Republicans in the state immediately threw up red flags when the idea was pitched in late April. Their concern is that the moratorium would cost the state $30 million in lost road money, Foster’s Daily Democrat reported. Senate Majority Leader Robert Clegg, R-Hudson, said the state already is short on highway dollars.

Undeterred, Coburn said he plans on calling on other state leaders in the next few weeks to move forward with discussion on the issue.