The House highways and tax committees are holding a joint hearing next week on a proposal to raise the tax on gas and diesel by 4 cents. The hearing will be held Tuesday. The Senate-passed bill would provide more money over the next two years for highway improvements, then take some of the tax proceeds to pay off $200 million in borrowing toward completion of the I-93 project. Once the debt is paid off in roughly 20 years, the tax hike would expire. The bill would also eliminate the Exit 12 ramp toll booths in Merrimack. The House passed a 10-year highway plan that outlines a way to help pay the remaining $50 million needed to finish the I-93 project. The plan also proposes borrowing money to replace the Sarah Mildred Long Bridge.
A state Senate committee has recommended passage of a gas tax increase in New Hampshire.
The Senate Ways and Means Committee voted 4-1 Tuesday in favor of the increase.
The 18 cent tax would rise about 4 cents per gallon in July under the bill. It has not been increased since 1991 and is the lowest in New England. That increase is projected to raise $32 million annually for road improvements and the Department of Transportation.
The Senate is scheduled to vote on the bill March 13.
On the Political Front, NHPR's Josh Rogers talks with Morning Edition host Rick Ganley about a proposal to increase New Hampshire's gas tax, Scott Brown ramping up his Senate campaign, and Vice President Joe Biden visiting Nashua on Tuesday.