Did you catch NPR yesterday afternoon? Brian Naylor had a news item about the gas tax increases that have been passed or are being considered in 19 states to pay for highway repairs and construction. New Hampshire is one of them.
Virginia went a different direction:
One creative approach was taken by Virginia, which actually eliminated its gas tax while raising sales taxes and imposing a tax on wholesale fuel. The state is also allowing the congested Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads areas to raise their own tax revenue.
Republican William Howell, the speaker of the Virginia House, helped broker the deal. “It was a true compromise,” he says. “As with most any compromise, no one’s 100 percent happy with every feature of it. There are some things that I’m not crazy about. I’m sure there’s some features that other people don’t relish. But we had to do it.”
Virginia’s tax hikes were first proposed by Gov. Robert McDonnell, a Republican. And he’s not the only GOP governor to approve revenue increases for transportation.
Wyoming is raising its gas tax by 10 cents a gallon. Texas is considering steps, as is Iowa.
On March 27th, the New Hampshire House passed a 12 cent increase in the gas tax spread over the next three years. The Senate Ways and Means Committee will be taking up the bill soon. According to a report by the NH Department of Transportation entitled The Roads to New Hampshire’s Future [pdf], only 19% of NH roads are in good condition, and we’re falling farther behind every year because of funding shortfalls.