New Hampshire legislator pursues fuel-efficient vehicle fee

December 3, 2019

Keith Goble

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A renewed effort underway in the New Hampshire legislature would add it to the growing list of states to add a fuel-efficient vehicle fee to registrations.

Nearly half of all states impose additional fees for the registration and licensing of many fuel-efficient vehicles. The fees are intended to replace declining tax revenue for transportation purposes.

Rep. Norman Major, R-Plainstow, is again behind a push to add a road use fee to New Hampshire’s sources of revenue for road and bridge work. The 2019 version of the bill has spent most of the year in committee.

As alternative fuel vehicles that include hybrid and electric vehicles continue to grow in popularity, a bill filed for consideration during the upcoming regular session would tap fuel-efficient vehicles for additional revenue.

The effort is billed to help counter a dip in fuel tax revenue as fuel economy improves, popularity of alternative fuel vehicles increases, and the state’s excise tax remains at 22.2 cents. The excise tax ranks in the bottom third nationally.

Major’s proposal would make owners of alternative fuel vehicles responsible for paying a graduated road use fee based on the fuel economy rating of light-duty vehicles. Essentially, the more fuel-efficient the vehicle the higher the annual road use fee.

The road use fee is estimated to raise $26.5 million annually. Of that amount, $22 million would be slotted for the highway fund. Another $3 million would be distributed to cities and towns. The remaining amount would cover costs for the program.

The renewed effort awaits consideration for the session that begins Jan. 8, 2020.

More Land Line coverage of news from New Hampshire is available.

Keith Goble

Keith Goble has been covering trucking-related laws since 2000. His daily web reports, radio news and “OOIDA’s State Watch” in Land Line Magazine are the industry’s premier sources for information regarding state legislative affairs.