AFP Joins Fight to Block Highway Fund Raids, Stop Gas Tax Hike
MANCHESTER – Americans for Prosperity – New Hampshire today offered support for an effort to block the raids on the state Highway Fund by other agencies. A group of legislators, led by Rep. Bill O’Brien of Mont Vernon, introduced an amendment that would stop the increase in the gas and diesel tax and ensure that funds raised by the current gas tax are used by the Department of Transportation on roads.
“Supporters of increasing the gas tax by 83% have said they need to pass this crushing blow to the drivers of the state to prop up the Highway Fund,” said Greg Moore, State Director of Americans for Prosperity – New Hampshire. “But the reason that funding for roads and bridges is running short is because other state agencies are siphoning the tax dollars off for other uses, using it as a slush fund for pet projects. Instead of asking working families to pay another $3 every time they fill their tank, we should make sure that gas tax money goes where it’s supposed to go.”
A recent Union Leader story shows that Governor Hassan’s budget robs the Highway Fund of an additional $26 million beyond state law, which requires that 73% of gas tax funds go to roads and bridges. Rep. O’Brien’s amendment would mandate that 100% of unrefunded gas tax monies go to road and bridge work.
“The sponsor of this massive gas tax hike says all of the new taxpayer dollars will go to the highway fund, but that just means the big spenders will simply use the existing highway fund as a big piggy bank to raid,” added Moore. “In reality, this is just one more way to grow government spending and take more from the hard-working citizens of New Hampshire. We need to make clear that the gas tax should be a user fee for good roads and not a tool for sneaking more spending into state government through the back door.”