The House Republican Alliance released a statement on the failure of HB1597, a bill that would have reduced the meals tax by 11%.
Today the House had an opportunity to provide tax relief for residents dining out while having no negative impact on revenues to the state. The tax would remain the same on the rooms portion. "Because the economy is recovering and revenue from this tax has increased by five percent, there would be no loss in revenue, " stated Rep. Russ Ober- Hudson. He calculated the math to show his fellow representatives that lowering the tax would be budget neutral. “Isn’t a reduction in a tax a good thing for New Hampshire residents?” asked Rep. Ober. "This is a win-win situation for our state."
Rep. J. R. Hoell-Dunbarton, remarked, “Today, the House voted against an 11% reduction in the meals tax in a fiscal year where the revenues would have been neutral with this cut enacted. Currently, Massachusetts has a meals tax that is approximately 31% less than the current New Hampshire rate. It is appalling that the House Democrats would not even consider the potential reduction to help our hardworking New Hampshire families."
Rep. Hoell finds it distasteful that the Majority of the House members would not support the 11% reduction to the meals tax for the hardworking families, when 47 states already have lower meals taxes than the current rate in New Hampshire.
Rep. Emily Sandblade- Manchester, speaking in favor of the bill, said, “While I know there is no free lunch, this reduction would make your meal more affordable."
After a roll call, this bill failed by 184 – 148.