TWO DAYS UNTIL the 2020 election comes to a close and by all appearances the race for New Hampshire Senate hinges on the idea of an income tax.

This week, the New Hampshire Union Leader reported state Senate Democrats launched a television ad claiming they never supported an income tax and they are shocked — SHOCKED! — that Republicans say they have.

No amount of Pinocchio emojis can adequately fact check this nonsense.

Every Democrat in the New Hampshire Senate voted for Senate Bill 1 last year that reads, “Employers may withhold or divert no greater than 0.5 percent of wages per week per employee.”

Democrats were attempting to establish a family and medical leave fund and pay for it by drawing money directly from workers’ paychecks. Perhaps they’d prefer to call it a “wages tax” or a “payroll tax.” Regardless, Gov. Chris Sununu appropriately condemned it as an income tax when he vetoed the measure in May of 2019.

“Senate Bill 1 is an income tax that neither I nor the people of New Hampshire will ever support,” Sununu said in his veto message.

Voter rejection of this tax scheme has clearly popped in Senate Democrats’ internal polling so they’ve launched a dishonest 11th hour counterstrike. Sen. Dan Feltes, who authored SB1, trails Sununu badly in the race for governor and Democrats fear he could take the Democratic state Senate down with him.

What makes the Democrats’ dishonest income tax denial so cynical is that they in turn falsely accuse their Republican opponents of lying.

For example, in his income tax denial, Sen. Tom Sherman (District 24) claimed his opponent, Republican Louis Garguilo, is spreading “lies and disinformation.”

“I’ve never voted for an income tax and I never will,” Sherman tweeted, deceptively.

Oh really? The roll call clearly shows Sen. Sherman voted in favor of SB1 on Feb. 14, 2019.

It’s the same everywhere that an incumbent Democrat faces a close race.

Democrat Sens. Jon Morgan (District 23), Kevin Cavanaugh (District 16), Melanie Levesque (District 12), and Shannon Chandley (District 11) all voted for the income tax. Each faces a strenuous challenge from a Republican candidate who has taken “The Pledge” to oppose a broadbased sales or income tax.

The most flagrantly dishonest variation of the income tax denial comes from Sen. Jeanne Dietsch (District 9). This week she tweeted, “I will not support any broad based income taxes.” Not only did Dietsch vote for the SB1 income tax, she also sponsored a separate measure to impose a 6.2% tax on income above $132,900.

Know this going into the voting booth: Every Democrat in the state Senate voted for an income tax. They’re simply trying to fool voters by calling it something different.

By the way, voters should be concerned about more than an income tax. As Republican Sen. Jeb Bradley said on my HynesSite DecisionMakers podcast this week, “going the way some people want to go — an income tax, possibly a sales tax, even the House voted for a capital gains tax last year, higher business taxes, that’s the wrong way to go if we want to be competitive.”

Bradley’s main concern is that all the tax increases proposed by the Democrats will degrade the Granite State’s competitiveness and ruin the New Hampshire Advantage.

The worst new tax idea of the lot belongs again to Sen. Dietsch. Last week in the Keene Sentinel she called for increasing property taxes on homeowners in towns she says are “underpaying” to fund education in other property-poor communities.

Homeowners in property-rich, high-income Bedford would pay significantly higher property taxes under the Dietsch plan. Oh yeah, Dietsch represents Bedford in the Senate. If you live in Bedford, a vote for Jeanne Dietsch is a vote for higher property taxes.

The choice for state Senate in every district across New Hampshire is just as simple. If you want higher taxes, vote for the Democratic candidate. If you want lower taxes, for the Republican.

There’s something to be said about earnest progressives who passionately advocate for higher taxes and bigger government. This is not that. The current crop of Democratic state Senators voted for an income tax. Now they’re denying it in hopes voters don’t learn the truth before Tuesday’s election.

Patrick Hynes is the president of Hynes Communications. He can be reached on Twitter @patjhynes.

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