Concord - Today, New Hampshire Republican State Committee Chairman Jennifer Horn called for Governor Maggie Hassan to halt her efforts to expand the Real Estate Transfer Tax (RETT) to cover leases:
"Yet again, Governor Hassan demonstrates that she has no regard for rules. Her attempt to expand the Real Estate Transfer Tax goes around the Legislature. If she wants to increase taxes, she should work with our state elected officials to pass legislation. I applaud Republicans in the state Senate in their rightful quest to stop her from secretly raising taxes without legislative approval. Hassan continues to believe that rules apply to everyone but herself. It's unacceptable, and we must replace her with a Republican who will respect and abide by official process this fall."
According to the New Hampshire Department of Revenue Administration and RETT forms, the tax does not apply to leases of less than 99 years. Yet, Governor Hassan's administration first asked the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules for the authority to apply the tax to leases, only to withdraw their request and claim that the Governor has the authority to apply the tax to leases.
NH RSA 78-B authorizes the Real Estate Transfer Tax of $0.75 per $100 of fair market value "imposed upon the sale, granting and transfer of real estate and any interest therein including transfers by operation of law." The tax is paid by both the buyer and the seller, resulting in a total tax rate of 1.5%.
Administrative Rule Part Rev 802.01(f) applies RETT on leases of 99 years or longer, but do not authorize RETT on shorter leases. The Hassan Administration has sought a change in Administrative Rules to allow RETT on "ground lease transfers", but delayed its request twice in the face of criticism from the Committee. The Hassan Administration has now withdrawn its request, claiming that "the taxability of ground leases exists currently under New Hampshire law."
Administrative Rules Chapter Rev 800- Transfer of Real Property