funding for local road infrastructure repairs

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More local funding for roads

Jul 11, 2017

BY: CCNH-LFDA Highlights

This Tuesday, July 11 Gov. Sununu signed a bill that increases funding for local roads and bridges.

The bill, SB 38, uses $36.8 million from a projected surplus this year.

New Hampshire roads need repair

Bill supporters point to widespread problems with aging transportation road infrastructure.  This year the American Society of Civil Engineers gave New Hampshire roads a C- grade

The state also decreased funding for local projects after the 2008 recession, and much of that funding has not been restored.

When SB 38 passed the Legislature Gov. Sununu said,

“As I stated in my budget address, for years we have heard how the state cannot control local property taxes, but what we can do is use infrastructure grants to give our towns more financial flexibility and target key areas of need to our communities.” 

Is this really a funding increase?

However, SB 38 states that the funding cannot be used to replace any local money already budgeted for road and bridge improvements.  Instead, the $36.8 million must go to otherwise unfunded projects.

According to the New Hampshire Municipal Association, this clause means SB 38 will have no impact on property taxes.

“While we appreciate the additional $36.8 million for highway and bridge projects, we note that the requirement that these funds must ‘supplement not supplant’ local appropriations limits their effectiveness as property tax relief.”

The New Hampshire Municipal Association also notes that SB 38 and other bills to increase grant funding actually just reinstate programs that were suspended during the recession.  To them this funding is overdue, not new.

Do you support more state funding for local infrastructure?  Let us know in the comments.

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Christopher Sununu
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NH Governor (2016 - present); Executive Councilor (2010 - 2016); Owner/Director, Sununu Enterprises; CEO, Waterville Valley Ski Resort; Strategic Consultant; Environmental Engineer

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