BY PAULA TRACY
CONCORD — Gov. Chris Sununu wants the legislature to consider a gas tax exemption for everyone, not just people who register their cars in New Hampshire, but anyone who stops here at a gas pump.
He says that gives drivers a 22-cent-a-gallon break for a few months whether they live here or just drive through.
“I hope they take it back,” Sununu said. I think that would be a huge win. I think there is an expectation at the state level to do that. We have a very strong economy, we have surpluses, we have a great rainy day fund. »
During the press roundtable after the Executive Council meeting on Wednesday, Sununu said there are various ways to finance it.
“There’s just a huge opportunity to say ‘look, Washington screwed up but New Hampshire is going to do what they can to push back and give some kind of reprieve. My idea is that it has to happen at the pump,” Sununu said.
The House Finance Committee is considering an amendment to a bill that would give all owners of vehicles registered in New Hampshire a $25 rebate check in the mail to help deal with rising vehicle prices. gasoline under a non-German amendment to Bill 1661.
It would need to be approved by the House and Senate and signed by the governor to go into effect.
Lawmakers were told about 1.6 million registered vehicles would be eligible to receive the checks, including trailers and motorcycles, and it would cost about $40 million.
The money would come from the state’s general fund as a one-time reimbursement and not the state road fund, said state Rep. Karen Umberger, R-Conway, who presented the plan with the president of House Republican Sherman Packard.
Sununu prefers to give everyone gas tax relief for a while, as the average pump price is now $4.19 in New Hampshire and is expected to remain high during the summer driving season in party because of the war in Ukraine.
Sununu said giving everyone a break from the pumps could drive people from out of state to New Hampshire as well as tourists, noting they come to buy other items that help the economy. of State.
“I’m always up for a good tax cut,” Sununu said. “Do it now in April and May. Twenty-two hundred right away. Other states are doing it,” he said, noting that Maryland and Georgia and other states are considering it.
The Boston Herald published an op-ed, recently suggesting that Massachusetts rein in the gas tax https://www.bostonherald.com/2022/03/10/editorial-give-us-a-break-suspend-the-gas-tax/.
“You don’t want to be left behind,” Sununu said. “I’m not saying we could get all the money back, but we can afford it, and it’s the right thing for citizens to do…I just beg the legislature to join me and give us a sort of reprieve.”