- The 4.2 cent increase approved in 2014 is expected to generate an additional $32 million annually for the state’s Department of Transportation.
- All of the increase goes to our long-neglected and crumbling state and municipal roads and bridges and will complete the I-93 widening.
- Repair of state secondary roads over the next two fiscal years (25%),
- Local municipalities to pay for community road and bridge projects (33%),
- Completion of the I-93 widening (42%).
- WHY road repairs are getting harder to pay for, and to find out if it really matters if we have a few more potholes.
Cost to Consumers
- With the 4.2 cent increase in 2014, NH still has the least expensive fuel charge in New England as well as the lowest gas prices.
- For someone who drives 10,000 miles a year and gets 25 miles to the gallon, the tax increase would cost them an extra $16 a year – if all of it is reflected at the pump. (Roads in need of repair cost each NH motorist an average of $330 annually in extra vehicle operating costs – $300 million statewide.)
- About 20% of the road toll/gas tax is paid for by out-of-staters.
- The gas tax is a small component of the entire price of a gallon of gas. See Gas Tax Math to understand the figures.
- The percentage of the rate increase, (NOT the cents per gallon), is 23 percent, while gasoline prices have risen over 300%.
- When the NH road toll (gas tax) was last increased in 1991, the average price for a gallon of gas was $1.13. At that time, the 18 cent/gallon tax represented a 16% tax on gasoline. Once the 4.2 cent increase approved in SB 367 is implemented, the 22.2 cent/gallon tax would represent a 6.1% tax rate on gasoline, based on the current average price of $3.61 per gallon.
Cost of Delay
- In 2009 the state acknowledged that its 10 year plan for highway repairs had become a 35 year plan due to inadequate revenues and higher costs.
- Basic maintenance had been cut for every state road except for those funded by tolls.
- Each year we delay, repairs costs taxpayers millions.
- The cost of asphalt, cement, steel and road salt have risen over 300 – 400% or more.
- The same amount of dollars can repair only about one-third the amount of roads and bridges today as in 1993, because of inflation and stagnant revenues.
Support for the Increase
- The Business and Industry Association of New Hampshire supports a modest increase in the state gas tax as a way to raise money to improve the state’s roads and bridges.
- The road toll has been upheld by the NH Supreme Court as a “user fee.”
- The road toll money is constitutionally protected and is not and cannot be diverted for other purposes.
- The increase will expire in 20 years or when the bonding for I-93 is paid off, whichever comes first.
- The town of Merrimack is also getting some toll relief. The legislation includes the removal of the toll ramp at Exit 12 on the F.E. Everett Turnpike, which will mean a loss of roughly $600,000 a year in revenue.
Dept. of Transportation Study
- The 2014 bill also establishes a commission to study whether the Department of Transportation is operating efficiently.
Projects to be funded with the additional revenue expected to be generated by SB 367 include resurfacing and reconstruction on secondary roadways, municipal bridges, and Interstate 93:
- Resurfacing, by NHDOT district (updated 7/8/2014)
- Reconstruction, by NHDOT district (updated 7/8/2014)
- Municipal bridges
- Visit NHDOT’s Project Viewer to see a map of projects supported by SB 367. (In the “Project Search” box, select “Special Projects” in the third box from the top, and then “SB 367 Road Toll.”