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Hudson - Litchfield News April 29, 2011 - 3


The Word Around Town... Letters to our Editor


Gas Tax Proposal


New Hampshire House Republican leadership recently released a proposed amendment that we believe will assist Granite Staters combat the increasing cost of gasoline, which has become oppressive. Allow me to share with you the details of this proposal. The State Senate recently passed legislation (SB 78) that would immediately eliminate the increase in the motor vehicle registration surcharge, rather than allowing it to sunset in June as both the House and Senate propose, though Governor Lynch worked to make the surcharge permanent in his budget. We remain committed to eliminating this poorly conceived car tax that was first introduced in the previous legislature’s budget. The amendment we are bringing


forward takes the same amount of funding as would have been given in relief from an early repeal of the surcharge and turns them into a 5-cent-per-gallon reduction in the gas tax until the end of the fiscal year, when the surcharge disappears. In other words, we are spreading the reduction of the surcharge to all drivers and not just those who have their birthdays in May and June by allocating those funds toward a 5-cent decrease in the gas tax for the next two months. To be clear, the fiscal effect would be exactly the same


as the Senate’s proposal of ending the car tax increase two months early. No current or currently planned road or bridge repair or construction project will be affected by this proposal. While the dollars are the same as the Senate proposal, we believe that our plan has two important improvements. First, the benefit of a gas tax cut applies to everyone, not just those who are fortunate enough to have been born in two particular months of the year. The folks who were born in the other 10 months, and have already paid the surcharge for this fiscal year, would get no benefit from the Senate plan. Second, by lowering gas prices, we will attract additional cross- border sales from Massachusetts, Maine, and Vermont, which will help to increase gas volume sales and, thus help to restore gas tax payments, but will also likely mean sales in other areas, like cigarettes, liquor, and lottery, which translate directly back into state revenues. Predictably, some have labeled this a “gimmick.” This is unfortunate. Most voters I hear from are deeply concerned that the price of gas has reached nearly $4 and a tank of gas has gone up to $40, $50, or even $60, depending on the car they drive. In our current hyper-partisan atmosphere, there is a rush to attribute negative motives to any proposal. The goal


of this measure is to help citizens during these difficult economic times, especially at the gas pump. Plain and simple.


One legitimate concern is that the gas stations could pocket the money, rather than lowering their prices. However, it is important to remember that this is a tax at the retail level, where competition is most intense. Retailers know that drivers will go to any station that offers lower prices and many will not give that advantage to their competitors. Moreover, this measure will only last for two months, which will eliminate any negative fiscal effect for the state beyond what was already planned by elimination of the car tax, but comes at an important time as we enter the summer tourist season. Our hope is that this will ease the burden on our citizens and help economic activity as well, especially if we can get people from out of state to come over the border to buy gas over the next two months. Whether it is this gas tax cut or the elimination of the car registration surcharge, the House will continue to try to find ways to reduce the cost of driving for New Hampshire citizens. We hope that the Senate and Governor will join us in offering this relief to citizens.


Representative D.J. Bettencourt - Salem


by Doug Robinson The Hudson School District has, for the fifth year, partnered


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with Aramark Education to not only supply the school district with custodial supplies and training on the custodial equipment, Aramark will also be further partnering with the School District as they initiate scholarships and a financial commitment of $100,000 “for the acquisition of a vehicle to be chosen by the district.” “Aramark will make a financial commitment to the District in the amount of $100,000 for the acquisition of a vehicle, and additional custodial equipment to be mutually agreed upon by Aramark and the District. Aramark will provide an annual scholarship of $1,000 to be distributed by the Hudson School District, as it best deems appropriate. In addition, Aramark will provide $500 to support the annual Hudson/Litchfield Rotary Scholarship Fund.” In addition, Aramark also stated that, “in any year that


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Aramark is unable to keep controllable custodial overtime expenditures below the budgeted amount, the Aramark fee will be reduced by $10,000.” During Aramark’s tenure with the School District, Aramark has implemented a District-wide, Web-based work order system that allows administrators to review critical information about work performed, provided annual safety training for the custodial and maintenance staff, and introduced school professionals to the “newest custodial techniques and equipment.” Norm Sanborn, Hudson School Business Administrator, commented, “I would like to recognize that the level of service we have is due to the quality and credit of the custodial staff, grounds people, and maintenance personnel. We have the cleanest schools around and best trained personnel. We have been very happy with the staff. We have good people.”


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