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: 0
- Page One Editorial: Control of NH’s future: Today’s House vote will be one for the ages - 17
- Consider Nevada: Gambling always expands - 9
- Missing the point: The IRS scandal and state power - 26
- Helping panhandlers: A method worth trying in Manchester - 7
- For the people: A century of the NH primary - 0
- What innovation? The casino way is the lazy way - 10
- Not so merry: Giving Robin Hood a bad name - 4
- Disengaged: Obama's lousy excuse - 15
- Underestimating NH: Gun control picks two wrong targets - 35
READER COMMENTS: 0
- 65 mph OK for E-ZPass drivers with opening of new lanes at Hooksett toll plaza - 0
- NH Senate kills House-passed gas, tobacco tax hikes - 0
- Senate Finance Committee rejects Medicaid expansion - 7
- Man wielding pipe robs Cumberland Farms in Goffstown - 0
- Buchholz moves to 7-0 as Red Sox post win - 0
- Gambling bill scuttled, 'Now it is going to be really tough' for budget - 29
- NHIAA Roundup: BG girls’ tennis team sweeps Pinkerton - 0
- NHIAA box scores, summaries for May 22 - 0
- Officials say Goffstown High ‘safe’ after threat of violence - 1
License revocations for DWI announced
Memorial Day events in New Hampshire