Archive for the Transportation Category

New Hampshire’s Ten-Year Transportation Plan includes a deficit of $955 million. Ten years of projects that cost $3.5 billion are proposed while there is only $2.5 billion of funding available. Is this any way to run a railroad? Actually, it’s a pretty good way.

 

Under the House’s proposed budget, 67.3% will go to Transportation, 31.7% to Safety and 1.1% for other. These ratios represent an additional $500,000 being diverted away from the Department of Transportation over the Governor’s budget.

 

March 2013 By Joshua Elliott-Traficante As detailed in an earlier piece on the Highway Fund diversion[1], the Department of Safety receives a sizeable portion of the revenue raised by the state Highway Fund. Historically the Department has received roughly between 24% and 32% of the amount collected, net of block grants to the municipalities. This […]

 

New Hampshire’s gas tax and highway fund are little understood even as the legislature votes today on doubling the state’s gas tax. The state’s highways are paid for with user fees and only with user fees, revenues are stagnant even if costs aren’t, the Department of Transportation is one of the more efficient branches of government, but many gimmicks still surround highway funds and the diversion of resources.

 

In New Hampshire, not only is spending on highways paid for entirely with user fees like gas taxes and registration fees but the user fees are often diverted to other uses. The largest recipient is the Department of Safety, ostensibly to pay for state troopers but smaller amount of money have been transferred to other departments as varied as Cultural Resources, Health & Human Resources, and the Board of Land & Tax Appeals.

 

The state’s budget laws are often ignored. The general public knows this and so routinely believes that, no matter what they hear, some wool is being pulled over their eyes. The details often prove the public right. This year’s budget includes a diversion of $28 million of supposedly dedicated highway fund revenue in violation of a law that is only a few years old and already being ignored.

 

Charlie Arlinghaus September 19, 2012 As originally published in the New Hampshire Union Leader In a few weeks, Maine will finish a $44 million project to extend a money-losing commuter train and lose even more money. Fortunately, retiring Sen. Olympia Snowe got them money in the federal budget to fund their profligacy. Some politicians in […]

 

Fleet Week in Review

Using a recently released report from the Department of Administrative Services and its own independent investigation into the data, the Josiah Bartlett Center is publishing a series of stories on its investigative journalism website, NewHampshireWatchdog.org. Monday:  NH state workers drive 1.5 million personal miles a year Tuesday: NH takes the keys from Liquor Commissioners Wednesday: […]

 

Of the 1.5 million miles that New Hampshire employees drove state cars for Non-Business Use last year, 1.1 million were in the Department of Transportation. The agency responsible for the Granite State’s roads and bridges has the largest number of vehicles in the state’s fleet, and by far the most of those cars and trucks outside of official business. But DOT officials insist that letting workers take state vehicles home at night can ultimately save taxpayers money.