New Hampshire governor calls for better use of road dollars

| 9/14/2007

New Hampshire Gov. John Lynch wants the state to spend its transportation revenues more wisely to eliminate the need to increase the fuel tax rate.

The state’s highway fund is drawn from the per-gallon tax on diesel and gas, as well as motor vehicle fees. Lynch has long opposed boosting the 18-cent-per-gallon tax rate.

The governor said with a drop in federal highway funds of 30 percent during the next couple years the state must reconsider what agencies use the highway fund. Decisions also need to be made whether the 65 percent of the funds traditionally remaining for the state Department of Transportation is enough to accomplish projects, Lynch told Foster’s Daily Democrat.

About $80 million annually is rerouted from the highway fund to other departments. The bulk of that money goes to cover costs of highway patrols by state police.

Lynch said some departments view the highway fund as an “ATM machine” when they are short on money.

“We have to stop that,” Lynch said.

To view other legislative activities of interest for New Hampshire in 2007, click here.