New Tolls

LFDA Editor

The $3.7 billion, ten-year transportation plan submitted by Gov. Maggie Hassan in January of 2016 does not include any proposed toll hikes.

Back in 2013, then Department of Transportation Commissioner Christopher Clement warned that a $1.3 billion budget shortfall could lead to new tolls or existing toll hikes. But this plan contains a newly approved $2.56 billion in federal funding which apparently makes up for the shortfall.  

Gov. Hassan’s transportation plan allocates $34 million for open road tolling conversion at the Bedford, Dover and Rochester Toll Plazas.

One of the three tolls along the Everett Turnpike in Merrimack was removed on July 18, 2014. Tolls at exit 10,11 and 12 were constructed in 1989 as part of a deal that brought the the city of Merrimack nearly $50 million of road improvements related to industrial development. $22 million in long-term bonds still needs to be paid off for the Merrimack upgrades between now and 2022, reports the Nashua Telegraph.  Merrimack residents argue that the Everett Turnpike tolls are unfair since other communities have not paid for infrastructure improvements with tolls. 

The removal of tolls at Exit 12 was related to the passage of SB 367 (2014), a bill related to the increase of the state's gas tax. During negotiations in the Legislature, the bill was amended to include the toll closure. Demolition of the toll plaza cost the state $560,000.

Opponents of new tolls often argue that drivers will divert from the highway, clogging local roads. Opponents have also argued that new tolls would discourage tourism to New Hampshire. Supporters of new tolls, however, argue the money is crucial to fund bridge repairs, road maintenance and other needs. 

In a 2015 survey of LFDA members, 86% said they would not support toll increases.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY

Interim Study

Establishes prepaid road tolls for motor vehicles powered by alternative energy sources, such as batteries, solar cells, and natural gas.

Killed in the House

Establishes a committee to study the feasibility of privatizing the New Hampshire toll system.

Signed by Governor

This bill provides that a person having the exclusive right to use a vehicle pursuant to a court order following a final hearing on the merits is the vehicle’s owner for purposes of electronic toll collection.

Signed by Governor

Establishes a commission to study revenue alternatives to the gas tax for the funding of the state’s highways and bridges.

Killed in the House

Removes all tolls in Merrimack.

Signed by Governor

Increases the gas tax by four-cents per gallon and removes the toll at Exit 12 in Merrimack.

Killed in the House

Removes the tolls at Exit 12 in Merrimack.

Should NH increase tolls and/or add new toll booths?

FOR
REPRESENTATIVES

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AGAINST
REPRESENTATIVES

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Issue Status

Rep. Franklin Tilton has proposed a bill (HB 1568) that would levy an additional road toll, prepaid at the time of registration, on alternative energy vehicles. Similar proposals have been floated in other states as a means of making up gas tax revenue lost by the use of more fuel-efficient cars. The bill was referred to interim study. 

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