Sunday, March 10, 2013

New Hampshire advances a gas tax increase!

Kudos to the brave 207 members of the New Hampshire House of Representatives who voted on March 6 to advance a bill to increase the gas tax by 15 cents over four years!  The bill got a unanimous vote in committee and attracted 15 Republican votes on the floor (Concord Monitor story here). 
Committee chairman David Campbell, in his report, noted the dire state of the state’s roads and bridges and argued that “the only way to begin to correct the problem is by properly funding the repairs of our crumbling infrastructure. Only money, not words and not ideology, will fix roads and bridges.”
On the floor, Rep. John Cloutier gave an upbeat assessment of the bill’s chances: “I believe that today is finally the day when this House stands up and says that we’re going to invest in our infrastructure, we’re going to put a halt to the gradual deterioration of our infrastructure and we are going to return to New Hampshire’s traditional, bipartisan policy of caring for its roads and bridges.”  Let’s hope!
Unfortunately, that spirit hasn’t touched everyone, with one opponent calling the tax increase “a stunning overreach of government.”  (I’d have to call that a stunning overreach of rhetoric.)
Future prospects for the legislation are mixed at best.
By the way, I rather like how New Hampshire refers to its motor fuels tax as a “road toll.”

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