EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

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July 1, 2014

N.H. motorists hit with fuel tax increase

Prices rise 4.2 cents per gallon today

When drivers stop in the Granite State today to gas up, they could receive a big surprise at the pumps.

That surprise will be an increase of 4.2 cents per gallon, thanks to the fuel tax hike recently signed into law by Gov. Maggie Hassan.

At midnight, the statewide tax on gasoline and diesel rose from 18 cents to 22 cents per gallon. It’s the first state gas tax increase since 1991.

Some motorists gassing up in Londonderry yesterday were already upset when told of the increase. They didn’t know prices were going to rise beyond the traditional increases seen just before the Fourth of July.

“I haven’t heard anybody talk about it — maybe they aren’t aware,” said Fran Pratt, cashier at Food Mart on Nashua Road. “I’m sure they will all be griping tomorrow and I can’t blame them.”

They will probably be griping about more than just the tax increase since GasBuddy.com predicts gas prices for July 4 will be the highest in six years, largely because of instability in Iraq.

The average price for a gallon of regular gas was $3.65 in New Hampshire yesterday, the same price offered at Food Mart.

The statewide average is 6 cents higher than a month ago and 21 cents higher than this time last year, according to GasBuddy.com. The national average is $3.68 per gallon.

“Just in time for the July 4 weekend, it appears the national average has hit a new 2014 high in the last week,” GasBuddy.com analyst Patrick DeHaan said. “The good news is that we’re seeing signs that the peak price we hit last week is starting to unwind, but with July Fourth just days away, motorists shouldn’t be expecting any big retreats in price before the weekend.”

Some drivers said while they expect gas prices to rise shortly before July 4, they certainly didn’t expect a tax increase on top of that.

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