NH News
5:57 pm
Wed March 27, 2013

12 Cent Gas Tax Hike Clears House

The New Hampshire House has voted 206-150 increase the New Hampshire’ gas tax by 12 cents, phased in over 3 years for gas, and 4 years for diesel.

All but 8 Democrats supported the proposal -- which would raise $750,000,000 over ten years -- and all but 13 Republicans opposed it. The final vote came after almost 2 hours of debate. Nashua Democrat David Campbell is the bill’s lead sponsor.

"Isn’t it just plain Yankee common sense, as well as fiscally responsible, to save present and future taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars by paying for repairs now rather than by waiting for the costs to grow exponentially greater by ignoring them. That is the choice."

But opponents say raising the Gas tax now is anything but sensible. Leon Rideout is a Republican from Lancaster.

"I believe that any representative who votes for this gas tax deserves to be fired."

The gas tax bill now moves to the State Senate, which wants to pay for highway projects with a casino.  The gas tax increase is also likely to end up in the House's budget proposal, which would make it harder for the policy to die quickly in Senate, where finance committee chairman, Chuck Morse of Salem, has declared the gas tax bill dead on arrival. Governor Maggie Hassan has declined to say if she’ll support higher gas taxes but has said she hopes the House and Senate will reach consensus.