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Tippecanoe & Lou, too: D'Allesandro floats another fee

January 09. 2018 11:35PM

If it moves, Democrats will find a way to tax it.

State Sen. Lou D’Allesandro, D-Manchester, has sponsored SB 410, which would impose a $10 annual fee on every canoe and kayak in New Hampshire.

The canoe tax first surfaced in 2013 when a study committee recommended it as a way to refill the coffers of the Fish and Game Department.

Sen. Jeff Woodburn, D-Whitefield, served on that study committee, but opposed the canoe tax before it could be introduced in the Legislature. In fact, he tried to take credit for killing the idea.

Woodburn now serves as the Senate Minority Leader. We would hope that Woodburn would oppose the canoe tax just as strongly now that one of his Democratic colleagues has brought the idea forward.

The state has no more reason to tax non-motorized watercraft than it would to charge every hiker, biker, and horseback rider who enjoys the New Hampshire wilderness. Paddling on a New Hampshire lake is not the same as hunting or fishing, and should not require permission from Fish and Game.

The Senate Ways and Means Committee holds a public hearing on Lou’s cuckoo canoe tax this morning. It should sink it, quickly.

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