Somssich and Corkery: NH road usage bill targets the wrong vehicles
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Many residents know firsthand that New Hampshire’s roads and bridges are in need of significant funds for maintenance and safety improvements. Most state lawmakers are also well aware of this situation. However, when it comes to actually raising revenue for that purpose, courage and straight talk is a rare commodity.
There are three primary ways to raise revenue for infrastructure: gas taxes, road tolls and registration fees. House Bill 478 (a carry-over bill to be voted on this week) and House Bill 1649 (a 2020 bill, with a hearing scheduled for later this month but almost identical to HB 478), will charge a new “road use” fee in addition to the annual car registration fee for all passenger vehicles that are fuel-efficient. That means the better miles-per-gallon rating your vehicle has, the more you pay – up to $125 more annually.