CarriageTowneNews.com, Kingston, NH

My Opinion

May 1, 2014

My Opinion: May 1, 2014

RAYMOND - In session on April 23rd, the House voted on SB-367-FN-A which was rushed through the House by the Speaker appointing a special committee “Joint Public Works and Highways and Ways Means”. This is a joint committee of the two House committees so they only had to have one Public Hearing and one Executive Committee meeting to vote it to the floor.

SB-367-FN-A, (new title) requiring adjustment of the road toll according to changes in the Consumer Price Index, eliminating certain ramp tolls on the Everett turnpike in the town of Merrimack, and establishing a committee to study the effectiveness and efficiency of the department of transportation. This bill increases the gas tax by about 4cents per gallon, on gas and diesel fuels, immediately, authorizes automatic further increases, and allocates all increased revenues to the DOT. It specifies how the money is to be used: first, to payoff $200M in new bonds to widen I-93, then road and bridge maintenance, including the 12% share for localities. It eliminates the Exit 12 ramp toll in Merrimack. This will hurt fuel sales in our NH border towns. Increasing diesel will also have an effect on moving of goods, such as food, causing an increase in these products.

The two hour debate went as follows: bill came out of the committee as OTP; then 4 floor amendments were brought forward attempting various changes. All failed

Whether or not you support the concept of a gas tax increase, I thought it would be helpful to clarify some of the misconceptions about SB-367. Before jumping into a major tax increase, we need to take a hard look at the intricacies of this bill and the system by which the revenue would be used. I hope you find these points informative.

Misconception #1: This bill’s sole purpose is to help improve infrastructure. No. This bill removes some tolls in Merrimack, which results in a loss of revenue to the Turnpike Fund. Many people believe toll planning should be solely the responsibility of the 10-year Highway Plan. Trying to attach such legislation to a tax bill is not appropriate. Consideration of the removal of tolls should be part of a broader review of our highway and turnpike systems, its revenue, and how funds are allocated, to avoid any adverse or unintended consequence.

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Obituaries
  • Alan J. Walker, 68

    Kingston, N.H. — Mr. Alan James Walker, 68, passed away peacefully at his home on July 8, 2014, after a long, brave battle with cancer.

    Continued ...
    14 hours
  • James Reese

    Raymond, NH — James Edwin Reese, 74, passed away on Wednesday, July 16, 2014, surrounded by his family and friends at his home in Raymond, N.H. He was the son of John and Ruth Reese, born on Oct. 29, 1939 in Edensburg, Pa. James graduated from Central Cambria High School in Pennsylvania before proudly serving in the U.S. Army as a food inspector. His military service was followed by 31 years with the U.S. Department of Agriculture as a meat inspector. Mr. Reese was an avid outdoorsman and spent much of his time fishing, camping and hiking in the White Mountains. He became involved in the Boy Scouts and enjoyed passing on his vast knowledge of the wilderness to others. Throughout his retirement years he enjoyed woodworking, raising rabbits and working in his garden.

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    14 hours 1 Photo
  • Velma J. Reid

    South Hampton, NH — Velma J. Reid, 80, died peacefully on July 17, 2014 at Exeter Hospital, surrounded by family. She was born in Haverhill, Mass. on June 8, 1934, the daughter of the late George C.W. and Alta I. (Kimball) Haynes. A graduate of Haverhill High School, Velma worked at Western Electric until she had children. For years, she was a devoted “stay-at-home” mom who raised her three children in a loving, nurturing environment. She later worked various manufacturing jobs until her retirement. After retiring, she volunteered her time at various organizations and was very involved at the East Kingston Community United Methodist Church as a member of the women’s guild, assisting with the holiday fair, and helping out wherever she could. She had a passion for animals, and would donate money, food, and blankets to the NH SPCA. She loved to sew and made a personalized quilt for every member of her family. She was also a member of the “Ugly Quilts” group, which made blankets and sleeping bags for the homeless using recycled fabric. She is survived by her husband, Clyde Reid of South Hampton, N.H.; daughter, Pam Eaton of Danville, N.H.; son and daughter-in-law, Douglas and Kim Reid of Raymond, N.H.; daughter, Shirley Reid of South Hampton, N.H.; two sisters, Gwen Stuart of Haverhill, and Norma Taplin of Dracut; four grandchildren, Cheryl and Marc Welch, and Kristen and Joshua Reid, and several nieces and nephews.

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    14 hours 1 Photo
  • Carleen A. Knowlton, 80

    Danville, NH — Carleen A. (Rhoadhouse) Knowlton, 80, of Danville and formerly of Hampstead, died on July 7, 2014, at her home.

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    7 days 1 Photo
  • Miriam O. (Graham) Graham, 84

    Kingston, NH — Miriam O. (Graham) Graham, 84, a resident of Kingston since 2001, and former longtime resident of Grafton, Mass., died peacefully, surrounded by her family, on July 11, 2014, following a long illness.

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    7 days 1 Photo

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