CONCORD – Americans for Prosperity – New Hampshire (AFP-NH) today said that the New Hampshire House should vote against the potential new raid of the state Highway Fund after sponsors of a new 23% increase in the gas and diesel tax promised to protect the fund from having more revenues siphoned away. Senate Bill 389 would allow Fish and Game officers to enforce motor vehicle laws – and then allow the agency to seek Highway Fund dollars for doing this work. The bill was not referred to Finance, Ways and Means or Public Works and Highways, meaning that none of the House committees that manage the Highway Fund will get an opportunity to review the legislation.
“On one hand, we have a House that passed a 23% increase in the gas and diesel tax because they said we need to shore up the Highway Fund, but at the same time, the House is poised to pass a bill that will allow one more agency to siphon funds from the Highway Fund,” said Greg Moore, AFP-NH State Director. “It’s clear that the taxpayers of New Hampshire have been given a bait and switch and are seeing before them exactly how the gas tax hike is simply being used to grow government across the board. The fact that this legislation was not sent to any committee that might consider how this would impact highway revenues or expenses shows that the skids have been greased to pass this back door raid on getting dollars to improve our roadways.”
AFP-NH has consistently called for all of the Highway Fund dollars to be used for bridges and road maintenance and upgrades. In the current budget, only 66% of Highway Fund dollars are used for these purposes.
“The crisis of our roadways is an entirely manufactured problem by the legislature diverting funds away from the purpose that the drivers of the state expect their tax dollars to be used for when they fill up their tanks,” added Moore. “Most New Hampshire motorists are outraged when they learn that only 12 of the 18 cent per gallon of the current gas tax are being used for ensuring that the roads we drive on are safe. Now, we have a legislature that is planning on giving one more agency an opportunity to take more of those funds. The public has a right to expect more honesty from our government, and this is just one more example of how that trust is eroded.”