As Merrimack continues it's fight with the state over the unfairness of tolls Gov. Lynch came out backing an toll increase which in the case of some of the current toll locations would result in a 100% increase over what you would currently pay. I guess this is what you get when the state government goes on a spending spree like drunken sailors increasing the budget by 17.5%.
But does the state really need all this extra money for the highway department? Let's take a look at a point raised in a Union Leader article found HERE.
"A new report from the Legislative Budget Assistant's office finds that 62 percent of the gasoline taxes collected by the state is spent on things other than roads."
So only 38% of the money collected from the gas tax goes toward roads (this includes state and local, if you take out local only 17% is used for state roads).
And yet the state finds the need to collect tolls from motorists on top of this and they are claiming the highway department is running into a funding crisis? Well no wonder! More then half the money never makes it to where it was meant to go in the first place.
I would now like to draw your attention to Article 6-a of the NH Constitution:
[Art.] 6-a. [Use of Certain Revenues Restricted to Highways.] All revenue in excess of the necessary cost of collection and administration accruing to the state from registration fees, operators’ licenses, gasoline road tolls or any other special charges or taxes with respect to the operation of motor vehicles or the sale or consumption of motor vehicle fuels shall be appropriated and used exclusively for the construction, reconstruction and maintenance of public highways within this state, including the supervision of traffic thereon and payment of the interest and principal of obligations incurred for said purposes; and no part of such revenues shall, by transfer of funds or otherwise, be diverted to any other purpose whatsoever.
It's things like this that make you go hmmmm....