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Real estate transfer tax proposal pulled off table
“The transfer of a lessee interest in a ground lease, including any interest of the lessee in the related improvements, that provides for a term of 30 or more years when all options to renew or extend are included, whether or not any portion of the term has expired,” the proposed rule read.
“That’s exactly what we meant by ‘poorly constructed,’” he said Sunday. “And it’s why we withdrew those specific provisions of the rule.”
Pamela Walsh, chief of staff for Gov. Maggie Hassan, said the proposal was submitted to the Legislature because existing rules have expired and, by law, must be updated, and she said the DRA will continue to work with the Legislature to draft updated rules regarding real estate transfer taxes.
Sens. David Boutin, R-Hooksett, and John Reagan, R-Deerfield, said the DRA came before the Joint Legislative Committee on Administrative Rules for authority to apply the tax on ground leases. According to state Revenue Code 800, the tax, which is 75 cents per $100 of value, applies to standard leases of 99 years or longer. It also applies to shorter-term standard leases but only if renewal rights could extend the lease to beyond 99 years.
“To suggest that the DRA, on behalf of the governor, went in broad daylight ... and tried to expand the tax base just simply isn’t what happened,” he said.
The tax and political ramifications prompted a quick response from two Republicans running to contest Hassan’s reelection bid this fall.
Walt Havenstein and Andrew Hemingway issued statements accusing Hassan of trying to orchestrate an end-run around the Legislature.
“Republicans like Walt Havenstein and Andrew Hemingway are launching misleading attacks against Governor Hassan in a desperate attempt to distract from their true ... agenda that would hurt middle-class families and take New Hampshire backward,” Aaron Jacobs, the campaign’s spokesman, said in a statement. “Granite Staters support Governor Hassan because she is working to bring people together across party lines to solve long-standing problems and get things done for New Hampshire’s people, businesses and economy.”
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