NH House Republicans Comment on Passage of Paint Tax Bill

CONCORD - House Republican Leader Gene Chandler (R-Bartlett) and member of the House Environment & Agriculture Committee, John O’Connor (R-Derry), offered the following comments relative to House action today on HB1570, a bill that would impose a tax on paint sellers that would fund a new government program for paint disposal. The bill passed by a vote of 161-142.

House Republican Leader Gene Chandler (R-Bartlett)

“This bill proposes a new tax, is anti-free-market, and anti-small business. This bill would impose a new tax on paint, borne by the retailers. Some proponents may say that sellers could absorb the tax - currently 75 cents per gallon in the three states where the program is in effect. Maybe large box stores, with deep pockets can, but those small town mom-and-pop hardware stores cannot. This new tax will no doubt get passed on to the consumer in the form of higher prices. If this tax bill becomes law, New Hampshire consumers can look forward to higher home improvement costs.”

Rep. John O’Connor (R-Derry) House Environment & Agriculture Committee member

“Any paint manufacturer not willing to sign on with this program will not be allowed to sell their products in NH. This will essentially eliminate the ability for new, small paint companies to enter the New Hampshire market and reduce competition and stifles innovation.”

“The bill as proposed is far from ready for prime time and has too many weaknesses to name. There are major legal questions that have yet to be vetted by the Attorney General’s office, including antitrust concerns. This tax bill picks favorites and hits small retailers and consumers without effectively addressing the full scope of the problem it’s trying to resolve.”