More powerful.

In the fall 2008 edition of The Trainrider there is some information that could mean higher taxes for New Hampshire residents. The Trainrider is the quarterly newsletter of Trainriders Northeast, a public advocacy group advancing expanded Amtrak rail service throughout New England. This newsletter is a special edition featuring the position(s) of the candidates for the now past elections and their positions on Amtrak in New Hampshire.

One of the questions was: “How would you support efforts to fund the Downeaster as a two-state partnership as we further upgrade the Boston-Portland rail corridor, restore more double track, reduce travel times and add additional trips?"

The Amtrak Downeaster is the train that runs from Boston to Portland, Maine. This train was started through the grassroots efforts of Train Riders Northeast and financing provided by Maine and Massachusetts. New Hampshire has never provided any direct financing or subsidies for Amtrak or the Downeaster. Although I do understand some air quality mitigation funds provided by NH DES were in fact used for this train service.

The candidates for Executive Council responded to the questions:

Bob Bruce- “I would use whatever power I had as an Executive Councilor to push our State and Congressional Delegations to get funds allocated to this.”

Debora Pignatelli- (no comment).

Beverly Hollingworth- "Yes."

Raymond Burton- "Bonds- Issued by New Hampshire."

Bonds issued by New Hampshire.

The New Hampshire Rail Authority created by legislation signed into law by Governor Lynch allows this authority to issue bonds for mass transit systems like Amtrak.

My question is this: Is this an example of taxation without representation? I’m not questioning the need for transportation systems like Amtrak, I’m questioning the granting of bonding authority that could lead to higher taxes in New Hampshire.

Who are the members of the New Hampshire Rail Authority? Are these people in effect more powerful than the legislature?

Is this taxation without representation?