New Hampshire fuel tax on the rise July 1

By Keith Goble, Land Line state legislative editor | 5/21/2014

Truckers and others will soon pay a bit more in tax to the state of New Hampshire.

Gov. Maggie Hassan signed a bill into law on Tuesday, May 20, to increase the state’s 18-cent-per-gallon fuel tax rate for the first time since 1991. Specifically, SB367 increases the tax by 4.2 cents to 22.2 cents per gallon starting on July 1.

The state tax rate remains the lowest in New England. The next lowest is Massachusetts’ 24-cent-per-gallon tax rate.

The governor called the legislation the most significant state-level investment in transportation infrastructure in more than two decades.

“This legislation is an important step toward addressing our transportation needs, keeping New Hampshire’s economy moving forward by advancing critical roads and bridge projects, finishing the long-overdue expansion of I-93 and improving commutes for our workers and visitors,” Hassan said in prepared remarks.

The tax will raise an estimated $32 million annually – about $588 million over 20 years – for transportation work.

Funding to fix and maintain state and local highways and bridges will be increased for two years. Afterward, about half the proceeds will be used to pay off $200 million in borrowing to widen Interstate 93 from Salem to Manchester.

In addition, the state Department of Transportation is authorized to end toll collection at Exit 12 on the Everett Turnpike in Merrimack. The move will cost the state an estimated $600,000.

The tax increase is slated to be repealed once bonds for the I-93 project are paid off in about 20 years.

The New Hampshire Motor Transport Association opposed the tax increase estimating it would cost truckers $750 more in annual expenses. Instead, NHMTA President Bob Sculley encouraged lawmakers to better prioritize existing revenues.

A provision included in the bill adds a study committee to review “the efficiency and effectiveness” of the state DOT.

Location-specific information on resurfacing and reconstruction projects on secondary roadways and municipal bridges that are funded through SB367 is available.

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