- In 1938, New Hampshire voters overwhelmingly adopted a constitutional amendment, known as the Highway Trust Fund, voting 80.2 percent in favor of a dedicated road toll (gas tax).
- The road toll has been upheld by the NH Supreme Court as a “user fee.”
- This user fee requires that “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.”
- All such revenues, together with federal grants-in-aid and American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds received by the state for highway purposes, are credited to the Highway Fund. While the principal and interest on state highway bonds are charged to the Highway Fund, the assets of this fund are not pledged to such bonds.
- In 2013, the Highway Fund was made up of about 36% federal funds, 29% gas taxes, 23% registration fees, and 12% from other sources.
- There is not enough to meet the state’s basic needs to repair and maintain our roads and bridges
Factors Contributing Toward Shortfall
- Prior to 2014, the gas tax rate was last raised in 1992..
- Vehicles get more miles per gallon now so drivers are buying less gas and paying less tax.
- About 20% of the road toll/gas tax is paid for by out-of-staters.
- Poor roads cost NH drivers an additional $325 per year in vehicle repairs, $500 in Southern NH.
- At current rates, an additional 90 miles of roads per year deteriorate to poor condition.
- To repave one mile of road costs $50,000. To replace one mile of poor condition road costs $1 million dollars, (20 times more).
- The cost of construction materials such as asphalt, cement, steel and road salt have risen 300-400 percent since the last tax increase.
- The dollar is only worth 60% of what it was in 1992.
- Each year we delay repairs costs taxpayers millions.
- Climate change is having an effect with four major floods in the last several years, increasing the amount of damage that needs to be repaired.