The Legislature will soon raise the gas tax by 4 cents, and there isn’t much that we can do to stop it. The justification for the increase is that our bridges are in disrepair, pose a threat to public safety, so we have to do it. The case for this has been made by Representatives, Senators, and the DOT chief who traveled the state last year telling NH citizens that he simply can’t do his job without more revenue. Supporters went as far as suggesting that we put warning signs on red-listed bridges, to scare you enough so that you wouldn’t be mad about the tax.
In a nutshell, that’s crap. The DOT didn’t lie about not being able to do all the things asked of him without more of your money. The problem is the list of things that he has been asked to do… tens of millions of dollars every year into widening 93 and “improving” 101, rebuilding intersections that have worked fine for years, and installing cobblestones and flower pots at those intersections. Yeah, cobble stones and flower pots. So, the bridges are falling down, and are so bad that you need to be warned with signs, but we have enough money for field stone curbing, cobble stones, and flower pots.
Some years ago, in regards to a gas tax proposed by the same folks behind this one, Governor Lynch said “Before we consider the need for additional revenue — which I don’t think is there — we need to manage the funds that we have today, which we are not doing well”. Those words were true in 2007, and they are still true today. Let’s work together to fix the real problem, before we take more from taxpayers.
Rep. Steven Smith