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.
New Hampshire Transportation Commissioner Christopher Clement has long pointed out that when it comes to our infrastructure, we’re not doing too well. Nearly 40% of the state’s roads are considered in poor condition, and almost one hundred and fifty bridges are red listed. Although Clement remains ‘revenue agnostic’ over where the funding comes from, others have a clear idea: raising the gas tax, which hasn’t been raised in New Hampshire in over twenty years. Supporters say this would be the most comprehensive and fair solution.
A lot of government officials like to speak up about what they’ve accomplished, but our guest today, Christopher Clement, has been speaking up for what he has not been able to do. For the last two and a half years, Clement has served as New Hampshire’s Transportation commissioner, and during that time he’s expressed his frustration over numbers that he says speak for themselves. The department is paving 200 fewer miles of roads each year, there are 145 “red-listed” bridges and nearly 40% of our roads are considered in poor condition.
As discussed on The Exchange this morning, the state legislature is gearing up once again for a debate about raising the gas tax. One big issue behind the debate is the deteriorating state of New Hampshire's roads.
Here is a look back at some reporting on the issue by Emily Corwin last spring, including this video explainer, and below, five reasons our roads are deteriorating.
A Derry Republican is proposing using an inflation formula to increase New Hampshire's gas and diesel tax about 4 cents next July.
State Sen. Jim Rausch said Thursday that his bill would begin restoring purchasing power to the Department of Transportation. New Hampshire's 18 cent tax is used to maintain highways and bridges, but has not been increased since 1991.
As lawmakers consider raising the state's gas tax, you may be wondering: are New Hampshire's roads getting worse? Why are they getting harder to pay for? And, does it really matter if we have a few more potholes?
NHPR's newsroom answers those questions in this animation:
On Thursday, a House Committee with once again look at a bill for a 15 cent increase in New Hampshire's gas tax. Supporters say it's high time, the tax hasn't been raised in more than 2 decades and NH's roads and bridges are in serious need of repair. Opponents however say that this amounts to a 1 billion dollar tax on Granite Staters at a time when the state is recovery slowly from the recession. We'll hear from both sides of this debate.
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.
As the New Hampshire House prepares to vote on a plan to increase the gas tax by 15 cents, the bill’s lead sponsor is working to undo the damage of an email he sent top Democrats where he called the gas tax increase “a gift that keeps on giving.”