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Progressive Taxation

One of the pieces of legislation that is destined for failure is the .12 cent increase in the gas tax for needed repairs and maintenance to the state’s crumbling transportation infrastructure.

Think red list bridges potholed roads and unplowed snowy roads as the DOT attempts to allocate ever scarce resources to the highest priority.

But this legislation will still fail as it should. New Hampshire is still in much better condition than many states I’ve been to namely Ohio and southern California where they’ve more or less given up. For example; I’ve driven across bridges in the Cleveland area that are so rusted out that beams have literally fallen off into the river below. And sections of the same road the roadway no longer has any pavement left instead it is patched with dirt and cement chunks that have been rolled over.

I’m told Ohio is essentially broke.

New Hampshire isn’t in this position yet.  I think this bill should be ITL as it also doesn’t do anything to address long-term transportation policy and goals for the state. Namely, how can it be that there can be a critical situation exists in basic transportation infrastructure and the state is still contemplating and considering running toy trains up from Boston to the tune of some $450 million dollars.

It just doesn’t make any sense.


Reader Comments (7)

Here's another factor to consider when contemplating infrastructure R&M: all bridges are created equal. Last time I checked, there were two across the mighty mighty Piscataqua, when one might do. Then there's all those cute covered bridges sprinkled about– wonder what the $/crossing return is for those antiquities? And as fond as I am for affording Vertmonteers as many opportunities to avoid their Grate State's onerous taxes by visiting one of our package stores across the river, I bet there's an opportunity to trim one or two from the fold. I'd start with that covered one that hardly brings any freedom-seeking traffic.
– C. dog
January 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterC. dog
"It just doesn't make any sense?" What happens once the roads and bridges fall apart? That doesn't make any sense.

I agree, however, that there should be a new focus on what is spent in road and bridge making. I was on the State Senate Finance Committee for a term in the early 1980s, and I raised questions about the kinds of roads we were building. I think there is value in "natural state," meaning we don't have to mow all the lawns down the middle of a divided highway, or on the sides -- that costs millions of dollars a season, and the natural state of greenery is itself beautiful -- most European and South American countries don't do that.

And I think too much of the money is wasted on the contracts to construction companies that add much to their profit margins. They add things into the RFPs that just aren't needed, including signage, widths, ramps, and right-of-way depth that just increases the costs dramatically and provide little needed benefits.

And to maintain the roads there's a lot of fluff as well. I think by involving the snow removal crews into the planning of the routes, much could be saved in the work they do -- but too often all that is decided by some administrators looking at maps.
January 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJim Splaine
Hmmm, Jimbo, might this be a peak under the bureaucratic blankie? And what would be the thought behind the self-deception that this only occurs with respect to roads and bridges? Might you expand your myopic gaze to at least the silly little ($450m little) choo-choo problem down in Nashua? Or the silly Dept. of Cultured Affairs? Or all those silly boreds of this and that, starting with haircuts and ... boxing? Seems like New Hamster's budget might be bloated with such craven quantities of lard and excess.
– C. dog tiring of Jimbo's torturously slow progress toward self-awareness
January 21, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterC. dog
NH just put guard rails down the middle of Rt. 89 from Concord north.

We had mowable strips there where trash would not accumulate.

And the ditches in the middle offered protection from accidents crossing lanes.

Now, with the prise of steel through the roof we put guard rails in?

I think NH has a guard rail fetish of some sort. Or there was a grant.

In either case now we have expensive replacement costs.
January 21, 2013 | Registered CommenterEd Naile
But Ed, this creates NH jobs: workers to install at prix fix, workers to pick up trash on T & M. And don't forget their padded pensions! Ain't Grate Government great!?
– C. dog
January 21, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterC. dog
I'd love to respond to Mr/Ms. C.dog but I have NO idea what he/she said.
January 21, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJim Splaine
This goes to your reading incomprehension issue I previously pointed out. I'll give you some special ed help: does the Dept. of Cultured Affairs do anything more than mow grass?
– C. dog trimming bushes two at a time
January 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterC. dog

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