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
- Charles M. Arlinghaus: Taxation without representation again? - 3
- Another View -- Betsy McCaughey: Our free lunch President - 3
- Another View -- Karlyn Borysenko: Workplace bullying is a serious problem, governor - 1
- Another View -- Fred Hiatt: Disengage from the world, and this is what happens - 1
- David Harsanyi: Are teachers really underpaid? - 10
- Jonah Goldberg: The U.N. club needs higher standards - 0
- Another View -- Mike Biundo: Where is Shaheen's gas price outrage now? - 20
- Deroy Murdock: What if Gaza were San Diego instead? - 1
- Another View -- Jayne Millerick: Dems scaring women by misleading them on contraception - 55
READER COMMENTS: 0
- Patriots Notebook: Physical Browner brings it - 0
- Heroes all? A word cheapened by overuse - 4
- City Matters: Market Basket workers' outlook challenges the skeptics among us - 1
- Punch line: The NFL blows it - 1
- George Will: A conservative internationalism - 0
- Sox Beat: Red Sox haven't made a deal for Lester — yet - 0
- Drew Cline: Home is where the really competent governing is done - 1
- Two GOP heavyweights try to get NH fired up about 2014 elections - 0
- Tom Herzig's Trackside: Stergios family has busy racing season - 0
Canobie Lake Park shuts down popular ride
Supporters are now 'Abby Strong'
Dover man sought in Rochester shooting
Heroes all? A word cheapened by overuse
Mark Hayward's City Matters: Market Basket workers' outlook challenges the skeptics among us
Punch line: The NFL blows it
Havenstein says he has always opposed Obamacare, though company he led was paid to implement parts of it
George Will: A conservative internationalism