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October 01. 2012 11:16PM

Lawmaker's call for tax prompts Hassan to restate her opposition

CONCORD — Maggie Hassan, the Democratic candidate for governor, on Monday reiterated her opposition to an income and sales tax after a Democratic lawmaker filed an intention to introduce an income tax bill in the 2013 legislative session.

Rep. Peter Sullivan, D-Manchester, filed a legislative service request calling for a 1 percent personal income tax “to fund chartered public schools.”

Republicans said Sullivan's request for legislation “exposed” a “Democratic income tax plan.”

Sullivan supported Hassan's former opponent in the Democratic gubernatorial primary, Jackie Cilley, who was open to the possibility of a broad-based tax.

Hassan spokesman Marc Goldberg said Monday, “Maggie has repeatedly said she does not support and would veto any income or sales tax legislation.”

Hassan, however, opposes a proposed constitutional amendment that would place an income tax ban in the state constitution, believing it is unwise to bind future legislatures and governors.

House Majority Leader Pete Silva, R-Nashua, said Sullivan “had the courage to throw back the veil of deception that the Democrats have tried to throw over the eyes of the voters and he has come out and had the guts to stand up and support the very income tax publicly that most Democrats support in private.

“That trickery is the same reason why Maggie Hassan, who once boldly supported an income tax, now takes the pledge, but refuses to support a constitutional amendment to ban an income tax.”

Silva said, “Anyone who says that they oppose an income tax like Peter Sullivan's, but who won't support (placing the ban in the constitution) is really just one more dishonest politician who is looking to say one thing to get elected, but who will vote to dismantle the New Hampshire Advantage the first chance he or she gets.”

House Deputy Majority Leader and Ways and Means Committee Chairman Stephen Stepanek, R-Amherst, said, “Maggie Hassan is against ballot Question 1, which puts her in the camp of those supporting an income tax. Unlike Rep. Sullivan, she just does not have the courage to publicly admit her private beliefs.”

State Republican Party Chairman Wayne MacDonald said Sullivan “has already blown the cover to the Democrats' secret agenda.”


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