Toll Update

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
President
New Hampshire Motor Transport Association
P O Box 3898
Concord NH 03302
603-224-7337 Fax 603-225-9361
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Reminder: A GACIT public hearing on the proposed toll increase will be held on Monday, December 4, 2017

Reminder: A GACIT public hearing on the proposed toll increase will be held on Monday, December 4, 2017 at the Portsmouth Public Library (Levenson Room), 175 Parrott Avenue, in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, beginning at 6:00 pm.2017 11 28 Proposal for Acceleration and Expansion of Turnpike

NH Toll Increase


Dear NHMTA Member:

As most of you know by now, there is a proposal to raise tolls on the Turnpike system by a substantial amount. According to the New Hampshire Department of Transportation, this toll proposal will generate an additional $36 million in revenue for the “acceleration and expansion of Turnpike capital projects.” Attached is the seven-page toll proposal that was prepared by the New Hampshire Department of Transportation for your review.

Toll rates are set by the New Hampshire Executive Council, unlike the “gas tax” which is debated and voted on by the New Hampshire General Court (NH House & Senate). If the toll rate increase is approved by the executive councilors, the majority of the toll transactions in the state of New Hampshire will increase by 50%. The commercial motor vehicle rate will become twice the class-one passenger rate, which is displayed on a graph in the proposal.

Herein lies the problem: There are five executive councilors and it takes only three to approve a toll increase. Executive Councilors Papas, Volinsky, and Prescott are all in support of this massive toll increase.

If you are opposed to this increase, I am recommending the following course of action: It is extremely important that the executive councilors and the governor hear from you as soon as possible. Their contact information is found on a separate sheet, attached.

Additionally, a public hearing has been scheduled for Monday night, December 4, 2017, at 6:00 pm at the Portsmouth Public Library for the purpose of public input on this toll proposal which I hope you will attend. Here is the address of the venue:
Portsmouth Public Library
175 Parrott Ave
Portsmouth, NH 03801

Unless you are in favor of an increase in tolls, it is critically important that you show up at this meeting to voice your opposition. I am very afraid that there will be many in the room that will be in support of this proposed increase.

Please make phone calls if you can as I have found that they can be the most effective form of communication. E-mail addresses are provided if you do not have the opportunity to call.

Here are a few talking points that you can use:

The New Hampshire Turnpike system is fully funded. There is enough cash to pay for current projects.

The state raised the gas tax 4.5 cents per gallon only three years ago. This generated approximately $32 million in new funds that are dedicated for use on New Hampshire’s roads and bridges.

This is important because the toll increase proposal is intended for the state to purchase a part of the highway through Concord (between Exits 14 to north of Exit 15) making it part of the turnpike system. As part of that transaction, according to NH DOT, that would free up $180,000,000 to be used on non-turnpike system roads and bridges.

That discussion should be part of a legislative hearing with multiple opportunities for public input.
Please, let the executive councilors know of the direct-cost impact to your business on a monthly and annual basis, i.e., the expected cost increase of goods and services to your customers and the impact on your employees.

Please let me know if you plan to attend the hearing on Monday evening in Portsmouth. It would be great if you can attend. Also, please provide me with any feedback that you receive from the executive councilors.

Sincerely,

Robert J. Sculley
President
New Hampshire Motor Transport Association
P O Box 3898
Concord NH 03302
603-224-7337 Fax 603-225-9361
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2017 11 28 New Hampshire Executive Councilors

2017 11 28 Proposal for Acceleration and Expansion of Turnpike

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