NH Senate Finance Chairman Statement on House Committee Passage of Gas Tax Increase

The New Hampshire Senate

Majority Office

"A billion dollar tax increase is the wrong recipe for improving our economy." 

Concord, NH – Senate Finance Chairman Chuck Morse, R-Salem, issued the following statement today following the House Public Works and Highways Committee's passage of HB617, as amended, which increases the gas tax by fifteen cents per gallon:

"An eighty-three percent increase in the gas tax – a one-billion dollar tax increase – as our state begins to climb out of the recession is exactly the wrong recipe for improving our economy.  The Department of Transportation is spending more today than they ever have, and they continue to seek new revenues, recently including new tolls and budget gimmicks, to fund that growth.  Now they are asking the legislature to saddle every driver in the state with additional taxes.

"When fully implemented, this tax will cost drivers in my hometown of Salem nearly $2 million a year.  Nashua drivers will contribute an additional $5.2 million, and Manchester motorists will pay in over $6.3 million more a year.  In return, our communities will receive less than 20 percent of those funds for local road and bridge projects; the rest will be funneled to bureaucracy of the Department of Transportation.

"This is a tax on commerce in the state of New Hampshire – and one paid for overwhelmingly by the citizens of New Hampshire.  It will negatively impact residents, commuters, and businesses, and will increase the price of goods throughout the state.  I urge the full House to vote down this legislation and would ask Governor Hassan to take a clear position against this costly new tax that will be added to gas prices that are already too high."