Home » Opinion » Editorials
The income tax: NH does not want it
The constitutional amendment to ban an income tax in New Hampshire received 57 percent of the vote on Tuesday. So naturally that means that Granite Staters are ready for an income tax. As dumb as that sounds, it is the rhetoric we are going to hear from income-tax supporters over the next two years.
Amendments to the state constitution require a two-thirds vote to pass. This amendment fell short of that 66 percent threshold, but it garnered a solid 57 percent - in a Democratic wave election that saw Republicans lose at least 126 seats in the House. By comparison, Barack Obama won New Hampshire with 52 percent of the vote.
Opponents of the amendment did not argue for an income tax. They argued against enshrining a ban in the constitution. They said it was constitutionally improper to write tax policy into the constitution. Many of them, including Gov.-elect Maggie Hassan, made clear that opposing the amendment did not equal embracing an income tax. In fact, Hassan, former New Hampshire Democratic Party Chairman Kathy Sullivan and other prominent amendment opponents openly stated their simultaneous opposition to an income tax.
To interpret Tuesday's result (which was widely expected, even among amendment advocates) as a signal that New Hampshire is open to an income tax is to willfully misread the vote. And yet some are doing just that. They are certain to make the case to the new governor (who was open to an income tax not so long ago) and the new Democratic majority in the House.
As Hassan is sharp enough to understand, it would be political suicide for Democrats to embrace that misreading of the election. Clearly and unequivocally, Granite Staters do not want an income tax. But when Democrats get around to "restoring" tax cuts made by the last Legislature, the temptation to find new sources of revenue will be great. How they choose to read the amendment's defeat remains an open question.
READER COMMENTS: 5
- Public be damned: Litchfield latest example - 2
- NH's 9/11 victims: We cannot forget - 0
- Celebrating Stark: And America, in Manchester - 0
- NH's Obamabots: Taking their cues from party bosses - 66
- Spending & voting: MayDay's wasted money - 5
- For the NH GOP: Two new stars - 13
- 9/11 memories revived: 'A quiet, unyielding anger' - 8
- Shaheen vs. free speech: She wants to silence you - 24
- Immigration scam: Obama hides his plan - 17
READER COMMENTS: 0
- Man stabbed in leg in Manchester incident - 0
- Senate sustains Hassan veto of bill to revamp juvenile justice system - 0
- Possible negotiated plea for Nashua dad accused of negligent homicide in son's death - 0
- Amherst man facing charges in August Merrimack accident - 0
- Dan Tuohy's Granite Status: Brown calls on Shaheen to back bill targeting ISIS - 4
- Traffic backed up a mile in Hampton tractor-trailer accident - 0
- Woman shot during Manchester drug raid is identified - 0
- Citizen's Police Academy in Manchester set for Oct. 1 - 0
- NHIAA Football Power Poll; Who's No. 1 this week? - 0
In 2nd District race, Garcia bucks Obamacare
Attorney claims illegal phone seizure following Christmas Eve accident that killed Brookline mom
Find the hidden cash stashed downtown
Strategery: A war by any other name
Freeh dumb: Favoritism in Vt.?
Lawyer wants cellphone evidence thrown out
Mexican man pleads guilty in international conspiracy to traffic hundreds of pounds of cocaine
Your Turn, NH -- Ted Menswar Jr.: How Manchester pulled together to honor one of its greats