CONCORD, N.H. (AP) -- New Hampshire's House voted Wednesday to raise the tax on gasoline and diesel by 4 cents per gallon -- the first increase since 1991.
The 193-141 vote sent the bill to Gov. Maggie Hassan, who said she will sign it. The tax increase would take effect July 1. New Hampshire's 18-cent tax is the lowest in New England and would remain the lowest if it is increased 4 cents.
"A solid, modern transportation infrastructure is the foundation for long-term economic growth, critical to the success of New Hampshire's people and businesses," Hassan said in a news release.
Supporters say the increase would provide much-needed money to fix deteriorating roads and help finish the expansion of Interstate 93. They successfully defeated a series of attempts to amend the bill, saying they would be unacceptable to the Senate. One amendment would have attached a bill to decriminalize up to one ounce of marijuana; the Senate refused to consider it, having killed a similar one last year.
"We deserve the opportunity to be heard," said amendment sponsor Rep. Adam Schroadter, R-Newmarket.
"This bill is about potholes, not pot," responded Public Works and Highways Chairman David Campbell, D-Nashua.
Opponents said the hike will hurt consumers at the pump and result in higher prices on goods delivered by truck.