(The Center Square) – The New Hampshire House has voted down a pair of proposals that would have taxed sales of certain electronic devices and ski tickets.
The bills – HB 1492 and HB 1652 – had been put forth as a potential way to increase funding for schools and scholarships, but opponents forecast they would hurt businesses.
“The Democrats have proposed two ill-conceived bills that would tax everything from Xbox’s to ski lift tickets,” Gov. Chris Sununu said in a statement released shortly before the vote. “The New Hampshire economy is strong, and adding more taxes that will directly hit Granite Stater’s wallets is the absolute wrong approach we should be taking.”
Following the vote, House Republican Leader Dick Hinch, R-Merrimack, issued a statement that cautioned against similar legislation.
“Although these proposals failed, folks need to realize that this is just the tip of the iceberg,” Hinch said. “The ski tax and the electronics tax are examples of the nickel-and-dime approach Democrats would like to take to make more of our economy taxable, and ruining the New Hampshire advantage in the process. Governor Sununu and Republicans in the House and Senate have worked to prevent taxes, both small and large, from being enacted.”
Ray Chadwick, chairman of the advocacy group Granite State Taxpayers, told The Center Square that creating sales taxes in a state with a reputation for not having them doesn’t make financial sense.
“In the overall scheme of things our economy works so well because people come here to buy products, ergo more money,” Chadwick said. “We’d rather see money stay in the pockets of our citizens rather than go into the maw of governments.”
Chadwick said his group works to keep residents informed of new taxation measures.
“On the electronics tax, our view is it may be narrow today, but someone may try to expand it,” Chadwick said, adding, “the bills were sold along the lines of generating revenue for education, but our view is we are in a state where the last three budgets have increased budgets for education support.”
“The idea that education is hurting for money isn’t supported by the facts,” Chadwick said.