New Hampshire one step closer to 15-cent fuel tax increase

By Keith Goble, Land Line state legislative editor | 2/26/2013

On the move at the New Hampshire statehouse is a 10-year transportation bill that would nearly double fuel taxes to pay for road and bridge work throughout the state. One project that would benefit is widening work on Interstate 93.

The House Public Works and Highways Committee voted unanimously to recommend passage of a bill that would increase the state’s fuel tax rate by 15 cents over four years for motorists and six years for truck drivers.

The state’s 18-cent-per-gallon tax has not increased since 1991.

Advocates say that something needs to be done to address a funding shortfall that state transportation officials put at $1.3 billion during the next decade.

The $980 million bill moving through the House would protect the funds raised during the next decade from being used for anything other than state and local roads and bridges.

The panel dropped a provision to increase vehicle registration fees during the next three years. The amended bill – HB617 – awaits further consideration in the House Ways and Means Committee before it can move to the House floor.

An alternative to the fuel tax increase is also under review at the statehouse. SB152 would tap proceeds from legalizing video slot machines and table games to help pay for transportation projects.

Gov. Maggie Hassan testified in front of the House Ways and Means Committee supporting the bill requiring a casino operator to pay $80 million for a 10-year license. She included casino revenue in her proposed budget.

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

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