House Bill 114: A Study in Contrast - Granite Grok

House Bill 114: A Study in Contrast

What is House Bill 114

House bill 114 is a measure prohibiting the state from entering into or enforcing agreements concerning sales tax collection with other states. It is a response to the Wayfair decision which came down from the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) last June. The measure was sponsored by Republican Representative McGuire. Co-sponsors include Republican Representatives Ulery, Cordelli, Spillane, Edwards, Gay, Lang and Torosian.

This measure would amend the chapter heading of RSA 12-N to read: “PROHIBITION ON CERTAIN [RECIPROCITY] AGREEMENTS WITH OTHER STATES”. It also amends RSA 12-N by inserting after section 1 a new section: 12-N:2 which describes in one paragraph the prohibition intended.

How does it help me?

This measure is a step to try to help New Hampshire business in dealing with the fallout from the Wayfair case. In that case SCOTUS eliminated the physical presence requirement in a jurisdiction before a business was required to collect and remit “remote” tax. That requirement was previously imposed by SCOTUS. SCOTUS did not define remote tax more specifically.

What this has meant is that internet sellers started collecting and remitting sales tax. Before the decision most internet sellers did not do so. They had an advantage over brick and mortar competition. The upshot has been a rush by every taxing jurisdiction in the country to impose their tax on each and every transaction passing through their jurisdiction, whether or not either the seller or the buyer actually had a location there or not.

There are roughly 12,000 taxing jurisdictions. Knowing who they are, let alone what their taxes are, has been a challenge. Some jurisdictions are more aggressive at tax collection than others. There are starting to be associations of tax jurisdictions working in cooperation. New Hampshire is one of four or five states to not have a sales tax.

Who owns the monkey?

This is really not an issue that can be resolved by any one individual state. Since it is applies to interstate commerce and taxation of interstate commerce it is a matter that the legislative branch of the federal government should wrestle with and resolve. Don’t look for that to happen before we return to actually doing federal budgets. And don’t look to Democrat leadership to attend to the matter. They are too busy supporting the “Green Deal” and figuring out why trains to Australia and Europe are problematic.

Since New Hampshire does not have a sales tax, the position of the sponsors is that we should not be collecting one for other jurisdictions who do. Simply because they claim a right to apply their taxes to our citizens in our state does not mean we should help them. HB 114 is a business and consumer friendly measure that saves both groups money each and every day.

HB114 demonstrates a grasp of tax policy. It attempts to support New Hampshire businesses and consumers in a meaningful way on an immediate a pocketbook issue. There is a New Hampshire Advantage and one party, the Republican Party finds value in keeping it. That’s one reason why New Hampshire’s economy is strong.

Conclusion:

There is a difference between the Democrat version of leadership shown in CACR 10 and Republican version of leadership shown in HB 114. Democrats are like opioids. You try the free stuff, get hooked and then you are trapped into high taxes and low freedom. It’s fun at first when it’s all about the free stuff, but then it becomes dangerous, expensive and all consuming. New Hampshire maybe we need a new motto. How about: Get Free Stuff, Accept the Bondage.