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Governor signs bill repealing 10% tax on lottery winners

CONCORD - Gov. John Lynch signed a repeal of the state's short-lived tax on gambling winnings this week.

The repeal will cost the state about $5 million in tax revenue over the next two years, and $3.4 million every year after that, according to a legislative analysis.

However, proponents of the repeal have argued that the state's lottery sales have suffered since the tax took effect.

Out-of-state residents avoid buying state lottery products and Powerball tickets because of it, they argue. Eliminating the tax will boost sales of scratch tickets and offset the drop in tax revenue, it is hoped.

The tax enacted in 2009 imposed a 10 percent levy on gambling winnings over $600, no matter where they are earned.

The bill, HB 229, was not a controversial measure and easily passed both the House and Senate on voice votes. It had unanimous backing in the Ways and Means Committee in the House and Senate.

The repeal takes effect in two weeks.

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