STATEMENT: In Interview with Good Morning NH’s Jack Heath, Chuck Morse Doubles Down on Opposition to a Gas Tax Holiday 

Tuesday, March 15, 2022

In an interview this morning with Good Morning NH’s Jack Heath, NH Senate President Chuck Morse repeatedly came out against a gas tax holiday — which would bring immediate relief to Granite Staters facing sky high gas prices at the pump.

Heath — one of New Hampshire’s leading radio hosts — pressed Morse on whether he supported a state-level gas tax holiday that would bring immediate and critical relief for Granite Staters facing high gas prices. Morse refused to endorse suspending the gas tax — and offered no real solutions to immediately bring down energy costs.

Senate President Morse, along with fellow GOP Senate candidates Don Bolduc and Kevin Smith, have repeatedly come out against suspending the gas tax for Granite Staters and instead have parroted a Big Oil agenda that would do nothing to lower energy prices now for New Hampshire families.

“While Senator Hassan is pushing for a gas tax holiday, it’s astonishing that Senate President Morse is vehemently opposed to relieving gas prices for Granite Staters. All he has to offer are talking points from Big Oil companies — who are making record profits while Granite Staters struggle with sky high prices. New Hampshire families are hurting, but instead of offering real solutions, Senate President Chuck Morse and his fellow Republican candidates are simply parroting Big Oil’s agenda,” said Maggie For NH spokesperson Kevin Donohoe.

In sharp contrast to her Republican primary opponents, Senator Hassan is taking action to lower gas prices by leading the effort to suspend the gas tax for the rest of the year. She has also successfully pushed the Biden administration to release more oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve and called for the Federal Trade Commission to address any price gouging by Big Oil and gas companies that are raising prices to line their coffers.

Suspending the gas tax has bipartisan support in New Hampshire and across the country — including from Governors in Wisconsin, Colorado, New Mexico, Michigan, Minnesota and Pennsylvania. And unlike the Republican Senate candidates, Republican governors across the country have backed  providing gas tax relief.

Listen to Chuck Morse’s interview with Good Morning NH’s Jack Heath here, in which he repeatedly refuses to endorse a gas tax holiday for New Hampshire families.

Full Transcript:

Jack Heath: You know, with the gas situation, with gas prices getting upwards nationally and locally, I think they’re going to be closer to $5 a gallon a regular gas than $4 pretty soon if my UVM math is correct. But I guess my point to you, Senator Morse, is gas prices are getting very expensive and hurting a lot of individuals because of the, you know – inflation was already here – my question I had already asked House Speaker Sherman Packard, New Hampshire has a state gas tax of near 24-cents a gallon. And we asked Governor Sununu on Good Morning New Hampshire Friday if he’d be in favor of temporarily suspending that hypothetically, say between now and Labor Day, he said, “Absolutely, yes.” He said if someone put that legislation on his desk, he’d sign it. You’re the Senate President, probably one of the most important legislative positions in the entire state. Would you support temporarily suspending New Hampshire’s state gas tax?

Chuck Morse: I think it is one of the most important positions in the state, and thanks for recognizing that. The reality of the whole thing is all we did in the last budget was lower taxes consistently and leading with the interest and dividends tax, I think it was one of the best things the governor did in the budget. That’s how we’ll look at this. I mean, we certainly are going to find ways to lower taxes with the money that we have now, and we’re going to find ways to send money back to the taxpayers in New Hampshire. That’s one solution the governor’s put on the table. I’ve seen a few others, but that philosophy of lowering taxes and sending it back to the taxpayers is what we’re going to live by.

Jack Heath: But specifically, we have a state gas tax. Should it be temporarily suspended? Because that is something that would be that locally can be done even though prices for gas and oil is set, you know, nationally and globally. And Senator Hassan just talked about temporarily suspending the federal gas tax. So would you specifically if there was a bill put forward to lower the state gas tax between now and, say, Labor Day, was that something you’d vote yay or nay on?

Chuck Morse: Specifically, to any tax that we’re going to temporarily do with a suspension, I wouldn’t support. I think what we have to think is long term in New Hampshire and anything we’re going to do, we should do and make sure we keep that in place forever. And that’s an important part of what we’ve accomplished up here in New Hampshire. We’ve driven an economy by doing what we’re doing. I mean, look, we got huge surpluses. We’ve taken in over $25 million a month more than we planned. We’re driving this economy because of good hard work on budgeting in this state, and we’re going to continue to do that.

Jack Heath: Well, I guess I’m trying to understand, I understand why you’re saying, Senator Morse live on Good Morning in New Hampshire, I mean, gas prices right now are historically high and they may come down, they may not. Are you saying you would not be in favor of a temporary suspension, but in favor, possibly of a permanent suspension of the state gas tax?

Chuck Morse:  I think I’ve made that clear, but Jack, let’s talk about this for two seconds. You know, we raise about eight or nine million a month in gas taxes in New Hampshire. We’re only a couple of million ahead. And on that one line in revenues in New Hampshire, I mean, to suspend that tax, we’d have to find that money somewhere else. And I think that’s probably a problem because 18 cents on five dollars is not helping the citizens in New Hampshire. What we ought to do is come up with an energy policy in the United States and deliver that policy tomorrow because that’s the important thing that Senator Hassan isn’t getting, even with her gimmick of suspending it till November.


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