A bill to increase the gas tax is headed for the floor of the N.H. House with the unanimous backing of the Public Works and Highways Committee, which voted 18-0 to raise N.H.’s gas tax by 15 cents over four years. The plan spreads the increase on diesel fuel over six years to ease the effect on truckers. The plan’s sponsor, Nashua Democrat David Campbell calls it prudent.
"This is not going to be an instant fix, but it’s going to be a lot of pressure in the right direction, and if we don’t do this we in the legislature will be negligent."
The bill had originally called for a 12-cent gas tax hike and a $15 increase in vehicle registration fees spread over three years. Campbell says he dropped the registration fee increase because to improve the bill’s chances. But Republican Chuck Morse of Salem, the Senate’s top budget writer, is already predicting the bill will fail in the Senate should it pass the House.
"This is N.H. citizens paying the whole bill. We need to create non-tax dollars to solve this."
Morse wants to pay for roads with money generated by a casino. Governor Maggie Hassan, has said she’s open to considering increasing NH’s gas tax, which hasn’t been raised since 1991. Hassan also supports Morse’s casino proposal.