NH News
4:38 pm
Tue March 5, 2013

House Readies For Charged Vote On Gas Tax

As the NH house readies to vote on a 15 cent increase to the state’s gas tax, Former house speaker Bill O’Brien is pushing to ensure all gas tax money pays for infrastructure.  

Former House speaker Bill O’Brien knows something about diverting gas tax revenue to pay for things other than roads. The state budget he passed as speaker did just that, as so have pretty much every state budget in memory.

But now, as the House stands ready to increase gas taxes for the first time since 1991, O'Brien says it’s time for the practice to stop.

"This huge tax increase is entirely unnecessary if we stop the ongoing raid of our highway funds."

O’Brien called the gas tax bill, which will raise close to a billion dollars over 10 years, the largest tax increase in state history, and warned that voters will be made to know who supports it. But Democrat Candace Bouchard of Concord, a former chair of the House Transportation committee says O'Brien’s criticisms are ill-founded.

“This bill will have support on both sides of the aisle. Legislators who were sent here to fix a problem realize that this bill fixes a problem.”

If the bill passes the house, it heads to the House Ways and Means Committee, where it could be reworked. After that the full House will vote again to decide if the proposal heads to the senate, where key Republicans oppose it.