The financial partnership between local governments and the state of New Hampshire has splintered since the recession. 

Jennifer Cochran / Flickr/Creative Commons

Amherst Public Works Director Bruce Berry was a happy man last spring when Gov. Maggie Hassan signed the first increase to the state’s gas tax in more than 20 years.

The legislation promised to double the money the state doles out to repair municipally owned bridges, from $6.8 million a year to $13.6 million. At the time, Amherst had three bridges “red-listed” as structurally deficient, including one on Manchester Road that had been closed for 18 months.

A new report from the NH Center for Public Policy Studies shows that one of the biggest challenges facing cities and towns in the Granite State is reductions in state aid, while the demand for public services remains high.  This is even more amplified during our town meeting season as residents sort out what they can truly afford.  But some lawmakers argue that local control means local responsibility for funding these services.  We'll explore the arguments around this debate.