First the so-called “austerity” budget failed and then had to be fixed in a one-day Special Session. What was discussed in that spectacle were increased taxes and fees previously rejected and the breaking of promises made to grow business in New Hampshire. This so-called emergency fix, was the direct result of a failure to lead and manage by the administration. Instead of making hard, but necessary decisions, the majority party opted for their tried and failed song of increase a tax on (this term, quite literally) everything.
As the TV commercial goes, but wait, there is more. In their rush to tax and spend your dollars, the Administration of New Hampshire took an unprecedented step of immediately applying certain taxes. That is correct, immediately, with no notice to the Department of Revenue, no notice to retailers, no notice to wholesalers - just tomorrow start paying a tax – and by the way, this taxes is hidden in a bill thick enough to keep a home warm all winter if burned.
In Ways and Means a so-called equity tax on non-smoke tobacco was proposed and, over the objections of many, passed. That tax was to take place on July 1, meaning that those who collect the tax would have had a least a month to re-mark their product, re-program their check-out scanners, in short there would have been notice, which is only right. A long time ago St. Thomas Aquinas, Patron Saint of Law Makers, stated that a law that is not published cannot be enforced. That is fair, equitable and the reasonable process that should be expected of your legislators.
This administration, with a seemingly lack of sense of fairness, or of the rule of law, implemented, overnight, a tax in Section 45 of Special Session House Bill 1 (the fix a broken budget bill). While I do not subscribe to chew or snuff, nor do I even like cigarettes, I do know right from wrong. It was and is wrong for the Democrat controlled legislature to pass a bill that immediately imposes as tax, upon signature of the governor. It is wrong for the Governor to sign such a bill.
Not only was it wrong on the basis of the edict from St. Thomas; it is wrong from a sense of decency and fair play. It is wrong from an administrative point of view as well. How can a tax collector be fair and even handed when the Governor forces the tax collector to immediately collect a tax businesses do not even know exists and have not been notified that they would be responsible for collecting from an unsuspecting public?
Our Democrat lead legislature and the Governor’s office did a disservice to the people of New Hampshire when they rammed through an incomplete, un-vetted and unreasonable tax law to fix yet another unreasonable and unsustainable budget bill. The people of New Hampshire deserve better than this type of mismanagement.