MANCHESTER (June 17, 2009) – Mayor Frank Guinta expressed outrage that the New Hampshire Legislature’s Commerce Committee is considering an “entertainment sales tax” on facilities that charges admission. This adds a sales tax that disproportionally affects communities like Manchester that invest in facilities that produce economic development for the state.
“This is the most blatant and dishonest attempt at implementing a broad-based sales tax in years,” Guinta said. “The Committee of Conference, with absolutely no public participation, is looking to place a sales tax on any facility that charges admission. Manchester, which has many popular entertainment facilities such as the Verizon Wireless Arena, Merchantsauto.com Stadium, and the Palace Theatre, will be burdened with a sales tax that will destroy economic development.”
The proposal in discussion in Concord would expand the rooms and meals tax to events that “charge admission charges.” This would have a negative impact on families that go to events in Manchester.
“If the Legislature implements the entertainment sales tax and increases the rooms and meals tax from 8 to 9 percent, then you will see real economic consequences,” Guinta said. “For example, a family of four that goes to a Manchester Monarchs hockey game, would expect to pay and additional $6. If that family were to go to the Ringling Brothers circus, the increase would be $15. You will see fewer families going to events, adversely affecting the businesses around them and prolonging our current recession.”
Guinta said that this proposal, as well as the likelihood that revenue sharing is stripped and more retirement costs will be passed to local taxpayers – while still increasing spending during the next two years – shows that the Legislative leadership is unwilling and unable to meet the needs of the people of New Hampshire.
“The Majority leaders in the House and Senate have decided that communities that invest in economic development are to be punished for the state’s irresponsible spending. This should be a wake-up call that they should suspend all economic development projects, because the Legislative Majority will tax your investments,” Guinta said.