Merrimack's community forum (www.merrimackforum.org) recently went through an upgrade and received a new look. Among it's changes is now a slogan on the top which reads: "Merrimack - New Hampshire's tollbooth capital!" and it's true. Merrimack is the only town that I'm aware of in NH that has toll booths set up at every major exit point.
The citizens of the town have tried again and again to fight the state to have these unfair taxes abolished with no luck.
My question is, doesn't the rest of the state have any shame? Aren't they embarrassed that the 8th largest community in NH sees the state as unfair and so full of itself that it refuses to listen to the people?
Gov. Benson came to Merrimack toward the end of his last term to listen to what the major issues of the people were and he left understanding that it was overwhelmingly the unfair tolls. He was voted out of office soon after not allowing him a chance to actually follow through on what the people asked of him.
Executive Councilor Deb Pignatelli ran saying she would eliminate the tolls. Now she's done an about face saying that it isn't "politically feasible" to remove the tolls.
The state reps year after year put up bills to fight the tolls that the rest of the state continues to ignore.
What will it take NH for our state to lift this unfair taxation from the town of Merrimack?
Two thirds of the money collect simply goes toward running the toll booths themselves so it's government for the sake of government. If the goal is to collect money from those using the roads in order to keep them up then a much fairer method would be a small tax increase on gas. Then at least everyone in the state and who drive on the roads in this state would be taxed equally and one community wouldn't be forced to carry a higher burden then the rest. Not to mention since you wouldn't need tollbooth workers and the upkeep of the booths it would be a much more efficient method of taxation meaning there wouldn't be as much government waste. But alas, I've learned long ago that government doesn't care if they waste the money they collect.
So until things change Merrimack will continue to be that red headed step child beaten by the rest of the state that our state government doesn't seem to see a problem with being beaten. Sad indeed.