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Entries in Gov Hassan (212)

Friday
Jul252014

NH Republican Senators call on Governor Hassan to halt unauthorized tax increase 

The New Hampshire Senate

Republican Majority Office

Department of Revenue Administration seeking to expand Real Estate Transfer Tax without legislative approval

 

Concord, NH – State Senators David Boutin (R-Hooksett) and John Reagan (R-Deerfield) today called on Governor Maggie Hassan to halt her Administration’s plan to expand the Real Estate Transfer Tax (RETT). The Hassan Administration recently asked the Joint Legislative Committee on Administrative Rules (JLCAR) for authority to apply the tax on leases, but then withdrew that request. The Hassan Administration is now claiming that it has the ability to tax leases. This unilateral expansion of the tax has not been authorized by the Legislature, and is not allowed under current rules governing the Department of Revenue Administration.

 

“Bureaucrats cannot and should not expand an existing tax on their own.  The law cannot mean whatever Governor Hassan wants it to mean,” said Sen. Boutin. “The law clearly states that the Real Estate Transfer Tax doesn’t apply to short term leases, and the Governor knows it. Otherwise, she wouldn’t have pushed to change the rules. Governor Hassan should immediately end her quest to impose a new Lease Tax on New Hampshire businesses.”

 

Both the DRA website and the RETT forms provided to buyers and sellers state that the tax applies to leases of 99 years or longer, but neither applies the tax to leases of  shorter terms. Neither state law nor administrative rules authorize collection of the Real Estate Transfer Tax on those leases. The Hassan Administration has not provided any justification for its new claim to JLCAR.

 

“If the Governor wants to expand the Real Estate Transfer Tax, she’ll need to get a bill passed. She can’t make such a major policy change on a whim,” added Sen. Reagan, chair of JLCAR. “Not only would the Governor’s Lease Tax hurt our struggling real estate sector, but any such retroactive tax increase would create tremendous uncertainty in our tax code. New Hampshire businesses can’t operate when the Governor can increase their tax bills whenever she feels like it.”

 

BACKGROUND

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

 

Attached: DRA Letter to JLCAR

Friday
Jul252014

NHGOP SENDS AG FORMAL RESPONSE TO HASSAN CAMPAIGN DEFENSE OF ILLEGAL CAMPAIGN DONATIONS

Concord - New Hampshire Republican State Committee Chairman Jennifer Horn today formally responded to the Hassan Campaign's defense of the governor's illegal campaign contribution scheme. The response was delivered to the New Hampshire Department of Justice this morning.

 

"Governor Hassan's illegal campaign contribution scheme has raised very serious questions about the priorities and integrity of her administration. It is clear that Governor Hassan has repeatedly and intentionally ignored contribution limits and solicited limitless donations from special interest groups." said NHGOP Chairman Jennifer Horn. "Governor Hassan believes that it is acceptable for her to sit in the corner office in Concord and take unlimited amounts of money from special interest groups that have business before state government. This is a clear violation of New Hampshire laws and shows that the Hassan Administration is beholden to special interests that are trying to buy influence in Concord."

 

Hassan has accepted donations from Big Labor PACs that dramatically exceed New Hampshire's campaign contribution limits, including a $25,000 contribution from that International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) union that is pushing for lawmakers to support the North Pass transmission line project.

 

The left-leaning Concord Monitor editorial page criticized Hassan's decision to accept the illegal contributions.

 

"[R]egardless of the decision arrived at by the attorney general's office, Hassan has a perception problem on her hands. A campaign's broad interpretation of campaign finance laws is akin to a child hearing only what he or she wants to hear, and the political damage can be significant," wrote the Monitor. "[S]uddenly $25,000 has bought the campaign nothing but legal problems, anxiety for supporters and fuel for opponents who can spin the Hassan campaign's interpretation of law into something much more sinister."

 

CLICK HERE TO READ THE NHGOP'S RESPONSE TO THE HASSAN CAMPAIGN'S ILLEGAL FUNDRAISING SCHEME

Friday
Jul252014

NHGOP CALLS ON GOVERNOR HASSAN TO STOP EFFORTS TO EXPAND THE REAL ESTATE TRANSFER TAX 

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. 

 

BACKGROUND

 

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

Wednesday
Jul232014

MPP - NH Med. Marijuana Patients to Deliver Message to Hassan 

One Year After New Hampshire Adopted Medical Marijuana Law, Patients Still Risking Arrest and Criminal Prosecution

                                                                      

On Wednesday — the first anniversary of Gov. Hassan’s signing of H.B. 573 — Rep. Donald ‘Ted’ Wright will join patients and advocates at a demonstration in front of the State House

 

* Photo opportunity: The group will deliver a list of grievances and requests to the governor’s office *

                                                

CONCORD — One year after New Hampshire adopted a law intended to allow seriously ill people to use medical marijuana, patients are still facing criminal penalties for marijuana possession.  

 

On Wednesday — the first anniversary of Gov. Hassan’s signing of H.B. 573 — Rep. Donald “Ted” Wright (R-Tuftonboro) will join patients and advocates at a demonstration in front of the New Hampshire State House to discuss a list of grievances and requests to the governor. Patients will then deliver the list to Gov. Hassan’s office. The list of grievances and requests is pasted below and available online at http://mpp.org/NHgrievances.

 

“Patients have nothing to celebrate on the first anniversary of New Hampshire’s medical marijuana law,” said Matt Simon, the Goffstown-based New England political director for the Marijuana Policy Project. “Implementation of the program has been beset by needless delays, and people with debilitating conditions still face criminal penalties for possessing any amount of marijuana. This situation is unacceptable.


“We’re fed up with state officials’ stonewalling,” Simon said. “It’s time to start listening to the seriously ill people the medical marijuana law was intended to help.”

 

WHAT: Demonstration and rally to raise awareness about delays facing New Hampshire’s “Therapeutic Use of Cannabis” program

 

WHEN: 9:30 a.m. ET, Wednesday, July 23

 

WHERE: In front of the New Hampshire State House, 107 N. Main St., Concord

 

WHO: Rep. Donald “Ted” Wright

Matt Simon, MPP New England political director

New Hampshire patients and advocates

#########

Patients’ Ten Grievances and Requests — July 23, 2014

 

#10[1] — No legal protection — Patients will have no protection from arrest until ID cards are issued, and the Attorney General’s office has advised the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) not to issue ID cards until the first dispensary opens. Governor Hassan, since you insisted on patients not having any legal protection until ID cards are issued, please urge DHHS to ignore the AG’s deeply flawed legal opinion and move forward with issuance of ID cards, as legislators intended.

 

#9 — No urgency on dispensaries — One year after the signing of HB 573, DHHS still has not managed to produce a first draft of the rules that will govern dispensaries. Governor Hassan, please tell these administrators to get serious and begin implementing this law more swiftly.

 

#8 — Removal of PTSD — Many patients suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) report significant benefits from using cannabis. These patients include military veterans and victims of violent crime, and such patients can now qualify under the laws of 10 states, but not in New Hampshire. Governor Hassan, please withdraw your opposition to allowing PTSD as a qualifying condition.

 

#7 — No case-by-case approval — Unlike other state laws, New Hampshire’s law requires both a listed symptom and a listed condition to qualify. The Attorney General’s office has advised DHHS to ignore the law’s “case-by-case approval” language that would allow providers to certify patients with rare conditions or unique circumstances. As a result, rules have been adopted that will exclude patients with compelling needs, including those suffering from epilepsy. Governor Hassan, if you are re-elected, please support efforts to improve this law and allow patients with compelling circumstances to qualify.

 

#6 — Unreasonable requirements for providers — DHHS has adopted rules that exceed its statutory authority by requiring providers to justify their certifications by handing over medical records. Governor Hassan, please begin to recognize that cannabis is less harmful than prescription drugs, such as OxyContin, and that it is insane to discourage providers from recommending a less harmful alternative.

 

#5 — Unreasonable requirements for patients — Under New Hampshire’s medical marijuana law, it is a crime to possess cannabis in “Drug Free Zones.” This means a patient living within such a zone — or even driving through such a zone — would not be legally allowed to possess or use cannabis, even in the privacy of his or her own home or vehicle, and even if the cannabis is not smoked. It also means any patient or caregiver transporting cannabis within two or threeblocks of a school would be inadvertently committing a crime. The law also includes an absurd requirement that patients must have written permission before they can consume cannabis on another person’s property. Governor Hassan, please support removing these unique and burdensome restrictions so patients can obtain cannabis from dispensaries and transport it to their homes without risking an unreasonable arrest.

 

#4 — Opposition to reducing penalties — New Hampshire is the only state in New England where simple possession of marijuana remains a crime punishable by possible jail time. Reducing penalties would reduce patients’ and their family members’ exposure to the criminal justice system if they possess cannabis for therapeutic purposes, including while they wait for ID cards to become available. Governor Hassan, please withdraw your opposition to reducing marijuana penalties to a violation.

 

#3 — Police Chief on Advisory Council — The first person appointed to serve as “a member of the public” on the Advisory Council was Tuftonboro Chief of Police Andrew Shagoury. Chief Shagoury was one of the leading opponents of allowing patients access to cannabis, and his opposition to the interests of patients continues. The legislature has since voted to give the police chiefs’ association its own spot on the council, but patients are afraid that yet another opponent will be appointed to represent the public. Governor, please acknowledge the overwhelming public support for this program and appoint a public representative who will not advocate against the interestsof patients.

 

#2 — No patient representative on Advisory Council — The first patient appointed to the Advisory Council has not attended a single meeting. This is unacceptable. Governor Hassan, please appoint a qualifying patient who supports the implementation of this program and one who is willing to attend meetings and represent the interests of patients.

 

#1 — Home cultivation by patients remains a felony — Patients know that if they lived in any neighboring state, they could legally grow their own plants. Governor Hassan, please withdraw your opposition to allowing limited home cultivation by patients and caregivers.

 


[1] These are not in any particular order but are numbered for ease of reference.

Friday
Jul182014

Hemingway For Governor - Hemingway to Hassan: "I don't know" is not an answer 

As New England Houses Illegal Immigrants, Gov. Office Doesn’t Know if Any Are Coming to NH

Manchester, NH – In what President Obama has coined an “urgent humanitarian crisis” tens of thousands of illegal immigrant children from South America have crossed the border and are being housed in the United States. While requesting billions of dollars to care for the children whose parents sent them illegally across the Mexican border, President Obama’s Administration has reached out to states asking for assistance housing them.

“Let’s be clear, this is not an ‘urgent humanitarian crisis’ it’s an urgent leadership crisis,” said NH Gubernatorial Candidate Andrew Hemingway. “The question is whether President Obama has asked his good friend Maggie Hassan to house the illegal immigrants he opened our border doors for.”

The Concord Patch inquired with Governor Hassan’s office as to whether the state will be accepting illegal as part of the President’s program and printed the following answer:

“We are not aware of any plans for the state to provide housing support for the surge of children crossing the border,” [Hassan Press Secretary William] Hinkle said in an email. (http://concord-nh.patch.com/groups/politics-and-elections/p/spokesman-no-knowledge-of-plans-to-house-border-children-in-nh)

“You aren’t aware, Governor Hassan? That’s failed leadership.  Pick up the phone and be aware.  I have a few questions:  Have you been asked to accept illegal immigrants as our neighboring state Massachusetts has?  If so, what was your answer?  If not, have you called to ask anyone and what is the answer?” Hemingway questioned.

As it has been reported in the Boston Herald, several secret flights of illegal immigrants have been flown into Massachusetts recently and they are being housed in detention centers around New England.

Governor’s Hassan’s Office admits that her Administration has met with federal representatives about this and reports say that they have been to Massachusetts to meet on this issue.  “Governor Hassan, you are very aware of what is going on--tell us.  We are your constituents and it is your duty to inform us.  Or, will you instead just follow the lessons of failed leadership provided to us by our President,” Hemingway concluded.

For more information on Andrew Hemingway, visit his website at www.andrewhemginway.com.