Dear NHMTA Membership:
Most all of you have been following the toll increase in the media.
Last week I sent an email out requesting our membership attend a hearing in Portsmouth at the public library on Monday night to help oppose the unnecessary increase. On behalf of our Association, I want to thank the following companies for taking their time to appear at the hearing and support the Association’s position in opposing the proposed toll increase of over 36 million in new revenue a year. They are: Associated Grocers of New England, Ross Express, Wal-Mart Transportation, M&S Logistics, Pinard Waste, Eagle Express/Warehousing, City Fuel, Dead River Company and R&M Freight. We would also like to recognize Rockingham Oil, Bridges Brothers and J & F Farms for their written comments.
In addition to our opposition, NH Senate President, Chuck Morse, appeared in strong opposition to this proposal. He exposed the process which was flawed. There had been no public hearing on this proposal in the previous twenty-three Governor Advisory Council on Intermodal Transportation (GACIT)meetings held throughout the state of New Hampshire this past year. Senator Morse pointed out the email that went out to the five Executive Councilors who oversee the setting of toll rates was sent out at 10:00pm the Wednesday evening, the day before Thanksgiving. The perception being there was a coordinated effort to pass a massive tax increase on to the New Hampshire citizens with no legislative oversight and in the dark of the night. Senator Morse said he would not support this effort. His comments were echoed by Senator Birdsell (Chair of the Senate Transportation Committee), Senator Avard and Senator Sanborn.
I also must point out that the Union Leader played a prominent role in exposing this attempted toll increase.
Yesterday, Governor Sununu removed the toll proposal from the Governor and Council’s agenda for today’s meeting at the request of the NH Department of Transportation. I believe there will be additional public meetings set up in each Councilor’s district. This toll proposal may show up again at a future Governor and Council meeting or it may be gone for good. If there are additional meetings we will need to show up in opposition or run the risk of facing an unnecessary toll increase.
Please remember the three Executive Councilors currently in support of this toll increase are, Councilor Russell Prescott, Andru Volinsky and Christopher C. Pappas. The two Executive Councilors opposed to the toll increase are Councilor David K. Wheeler and Joseph D. Kenney.
I also want to thank the many NHMTA members that took the time to contact their Executive Councilor to voice their opposition to this toll increase.
The removal of the toll proposal is a good step. However, it may resurface to be voted on in the future. All of this would be put to rest if Governor Sununu would say he would veto the proposal.
I will keep you updated as we learn more.
Robert J. Sculley
New Hampshire Motor Transport Association
P O Box 3898
Concord NH 03302
603-224-7337 Fax 603-225-9361
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