Toll revolt in New Hampshire

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Merrimack calls for toll revolt
New Hampshire Union Leader Correspondent

An initiative by Executive Councilor Debora Pignatelli to give residents in the 03054 ZIP code two free passes daily through the E-ZPass toll system is going nowhere, and the town is calling for a day of revolt.

The town council last night voted unanimously to declare Monday, Aug. 27, Merrimack Toll Revolt Day; all residents are asked to throw only pennies in the tolls on that day.

Anti-toll campaigners backed the Pignatelli strategy this spring after years of trying to win support for toll reform in the 400-member House. The House can add or remove tollbooths, or call for systemic changes such as uniformity of pricing among tollbooths, while the Executive Council has traditionally governed toll rates and discounts.

E-ZPass use proposed for Merrimack toll relief

Pignatelli learned from Gov. John Lynch’s legal counsel last week, however, that the House had passed legislation to strip the Executive Council of its power to regulate toll rates and discounts in 2005.

“New laws have been passed by legislators that stop our ability to give discounts, and this power grab by the Legislature is disheartening,” she said.

Council Chairman David McCray promptly called for a day of revolt.

“You people in Concord,” he said. “You son of a gun. I am going to Sovereign Bank to get myself a roll of pennies.”