Remember Governor Maggie Hassan's "Campground Tax."
(July 3, 2015) - As thousands of New Hampshire families and out-of-state tourists head to Granite State campgrounds for the 4th of July weekend, it is important for them to remember that if Governor Maggie Hassan had her way back in 2009, this could be a much more costly holiday. Furthermore, many of the campgrounds that existed then likely would have been forced to close down by now due to what became known as the costly and absurd "Tent Tax."
In 2009, the New Hampshire Legislature agreed in the FY 2010 - FY 2011 budget to raise the state's Rooms and Meals Tax from 8% to 9%, and expanded the tax to campsites.
- In June of 2009, then State Senator Maggie Hassan, who was also a Senator Budget Conferee, voted for the FY 2010 - FY 2011 budget. (HB1, Roll Call Vote #103: Conference Committee Report Adopted 13-11, 6/24/09, Hassan Voted Yea; Senate Journal 20, 6/24/09, pg. 595)
- In June of 2009, then State Senator Maggie Hassan voted for HB2, the trailer bill for the FY 2010 - FY2011 budget, which expanded the Hotels and Rooms Tax to campsites. (HB2, Roll Call Vote #104: Conference Report Adopted 13-11, 6/24/09, Hassan Voted Yea; Senate Journal 20, 6/24/09, pg. 661)
- HB2 "increases the Meals and Rooms Tax, adds campsites to the definition of hotel." (HB2, signed into law 6/30/09; Senate Journal 20, 6/24/09, pg. 655)
In response to the newly imposed 'Tent Tax,' public pressure mounted quickly as campsite owners and vacationers recognized how detrimental it would be to the industry. WBZ-TV talked to one campground owner who said that a "9% meal and room tax increase could put many campgrounds out of business. Local campers even said "we are in a fixed income, yeah that (tax) is going to hurt."
In addition to the public outcry, the tax fell far short of what it was expected to raise, according to Gregg Pitman, executive director of the New Hampshire Campground Owners Association.
- In April 2010, then State Senator Maggie Hassan voted to repeal the Campsite Tax (HB1445, Roll Call Vote #48: Motion To Pass Adopted 24-0, 4/7/10, Hassan Voted Yea; Senate Journal 13, 4/7/10, pg. 279)
- In May 2010, the Campsite Tax Repeal was signed into law, "eliminating the meals and rooms tax on campsites." (HB1445, Signed Into Law 5/3/10)
*Note: In 2010, then State Senator Maggie Hassan lost her State Senate seat to current State Senator Russell Prescott.
Derek Dufresne, Spokesman for Citizens for a Strong New Hampshire, released the following statement:
"In addition to the fact that our state's tourism industry is a crucial aspect of our economy, summer vacations to local campgrounds are a time-honored tradition enjoyed by many New Hampshire families and out-of-state tourists alike. As countless Granite Staters gear up for a weekend at one of our many campgrounds, it is important for them to remember that if then State Senator Maggie Hassan had her way, the Granite State campground industry of today would look significantly different.
"Only a tax and spend liberal like Maggie Hassan would believe that imposing a Rooms and Meals tax on a parking spot for a camper was a good idea. This tax would have taken a significant chunk out of New Hampshire families' pockets and forced countless campgrounds to shutdown. Thankfully, Hassan's 'Tent Tax' didn't last long, but it is just another example of how out-of-touch she is with issues important to Granite State families."