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NHGOP Chair chides speaker Norelli over NCSL support of Internet sales tax

April 29. 2013 12:43PM

State Republican Party Chairman Jennifer Horn is asking Democratic House speaker Terie Norelli to “seek to end” having the state pay dues to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) because of the group’s support for the controversial Internet sales tax bill in Washington.

“Under your leadership as its president, the NCSL is actively supporting a disastrous Internet sales tax bill that will hurt New Hampshire small business owners,” Horn wrote Norelli today.

“It is outrageous that Granite State taxpayers are being forced to fund an organization that is campaigning for legislation that will damage the New Hampshire advantage,” Horn wrote.
There was no response from the speaker’s office, but the state Democratic Party called Horn’s letter an “inexcusable” partisan ploy.

Horn said that according to the Legislative Accounting Office, New Hampshire taxpayers “spent $126,879 in fiscal year 2013 on dues owed to the NCSL.”

“The NCSL is using this money to fund a campaign to urge members of congress to support the job-killing Internet sales tax bill,” Horn wrote.

“This legislation would burden New Hampshire small business owners with onerous new regulations and allow states with a sales tax to expand government by taking more money out of the pockets of working families. As Speaker of the House and NCSL president you must stand up for New Hampshire by demanding repayment of the dues paid to the NCSL and remove funding for the payments of these dues from the upcoming state budget,” wrote Horn.

Horn wrote that while other elected officials “have spoken out against the Internet sales tax bill, you have said nothing. You have sat on your hands as President Obama, the leader of your party, and the NCSL, an organization that you oversee, have championed this devastating legislation. Your shameful silence raises serious questions about whether you would rather stand with New Hampshire, or quietly serve the interests of the states with a sales tax that you represent as NCSL president,” Horn wrote.

State Democratic Party spokesman Harrell Kirstein responded with his own letter pointing out that the NCLS dues Horn referred to was included in a state budget passed two years ago, entirely with Republican support and with no Democratic backers.

Kirstein said Horn’s letter “would be better addressed to disgraced former Speaker Bill O’Brien, Senate President Peter Bragdon, and Majority Leader Jeb Bradley.  They created and passed the budget referenced in your letter.  Additionally, you may also want to ask them about the hundreds of New Hampshire jobs their budget killed and the reckless cuts it made to New Hampshire schools.

“With the avalanche of recent national news stories about embarrassing antics of New Hampshire Republican elected officials and plummeting poll numbers of Senator Ayotte, it is certainly understandable that you are a bit dazed and confused this month – but with such obvious errors it is increasingly impossible to take anything you have to say seriously,” Kirstein wrote.

“In light of your admitted inability to manage your own budget and taxes it is somewhat understandable that you have trouble reading the New Hampshire state budget, but this latest partisan ploy is simply inexcusable,” wrote Kirstein.

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