Tuesday morning, the Senate Ways and Means Committee will hold a public hearing on a bill that would raise the state’s gas tax by a few cents every four years.
The bill, proposed by Republican Senator Jim Rausch of Derry, aims to fund infrastructure projects by using a gas tax formula pegged to the consumer price index. It would increase the tax automatically every four years without needing additional legislative approval.
The current tax is set at 18 cents per gallon and has remained unchanged since 1991. Backers of the increase point out the price of asphalt has steadily increased with the price of petroleum since then.
The first increase under the proposed formula would be 4.2 cents, which would provide an estimated $30 million in added revenue.
The bill does not have the support of Senate President Chuck Morse of Salem, who wants to fund road improvements with casino money. But Governor Maggie Hassan supports the bill, saying she would sign it while speaking on NHPR’s The Exchange.