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Letter: The Road to Higher Taxes

To the Editor:

There they go again, complaining about our roads and bridges. It’s almost as if some New Hampshire politicians want them to be bad so they will have something to complain about when they ask for higher taxes. The fact is that they could already be working on our highways if they really wanted to. No, they don’t need a higher gas tax or new casino revenue to pay for highways. If either or even if both of those sources of revenue had passed, we still would not be fixing more roads and bridges. Tax increases do not pave a mile of road or fix a single bridge. Only spending, not taxing, will fix our highway system.

The governor did not propose to spend even a dollar more on roads and bridges. Oh, she wanted more money from a proposed casino, but her budget proposal didn’t call for spending it on highways. The House Democrats did not propose to spend even a dollar more on roads and bridges. They wanted to raise almost a billion dollars from a higher gas tax, but their budget did not spend it on highways. If they really want to spend more money on roads and bridges, they first have to propose it in the budget. Without spending authority in the budget, they can’t spend a dime even if they get their higher taxes. Conversely, the budget can authorize additional spending even without more taxes. The governor, instead of raiding the highway fund for more state police, could have proposed to spend more on roads and bridges. When politicians fail to take even the smallest action to spend more money on our highways, one wonders if their talk about roads and bridges is nothing but an excuse for raising taxes.

Spec Bowers

Georges Mills