Senate Approves Gas Tax Hike On 15-9 Vote
The New Hampshire Senate has approved a 4.2-cent hike in the state’s gas tax that would raise an estimated $32 million for roads projects.
The bill also eliminates a set of tolls in Merrimack.
New Hampshire’s gas tax has held steady at 18-cents per gallon since the early 1990s, losing ground to inflation and more fuel-efficient vehicles.
Senator Jim Rausch sponsored the plan, which originally envisioned indexing the tax to the inflation rate.
But the Republican from Derry scrapped that plan in favor of a scaled down measure.
“This was a long, rough, bumpy road filled with potholes,” Rausch joked with colleagues on the Senate floor.
Under the bill, new revenue from the tax would go to road and bridge maintenance. It’s also expected to be used to help fund the widening of I-93.
Opponents say the 23% increase in the tax rate will hurt industry and working families.
This bill is expected to pass the New Hampshire House. Governor Maggie Hassan says she’ll sign it.