Governor Chris Sununu promises he will veto a bill that would effectively tack a fee on fuel-efficient vehicles registered in New Hampshire.
House Bill 1763 would establish a road usage fee for motor vehicles registered to travel on New Hampshire roads based on the equivalent miles per gallon of the vehicle.
The fee would be collected at the time of annual registration of the vehicle and deposited in the highway fund.
The usage fee would range from zero for vehicles that average less than 20 mpg, up to $111 for vehicles that average 51 or more mpg, including "gasoline-free vehicles," according to the legislation.
Sununu says he doesn’t support the bill as it’s currently drafted. The Union Leader reported that the governor said he understands more money has to be put into infrastructure, and mentioned his effort to channel $35 million in surplus funds into municipal road and bridge work.
The bill, which has bipartisan sponsors, proposes a $330,000 appropriation to help the New Hampshire Department of Safety implement the intended statute. The House passed the bill last month.
Rep. Kenneth Weyler, a Republican member of House Finance, wrote in the House majority report on the bill that the measure is accepted as a fair way to cover the cost of maintaining the state's roads and bridges. He notes the state has increased its overall total vehicles and vehicle miles, but it has not increased the receipts of the gas tax, aka the "road toll."
The fee structure would generate an estimated $21 million to the highway fund, according to Weyler.