A bunch of lawyers on the Supreme Court said states could tax online sales as if the buyer was in the state making the purchase. No one in New Hampshire, even the Democrats, liked that much. And they seem to agree on a similar issue. Massachusetts is taxing employees in NH, working remotely on jobs in the Bay State.
Michael Graham, writing at the Boston Herald, Reports that,
“… since March, Charlie Baker and Co. have been collecting their 5% “commuter tax” from New Hampshire workers who haven’t crossed the state line in months. Baker ordered Granite Staters to stay home, then announced the state’s going to tax them as though they are working here, anyway.”
This whole cross-border taxation thing has always been a problem for me, long before I lived in New Hampshire (and sometimes worked in Massachusetts). I think it falls back on the matter of taxation without representation. People I can’t kick out of office are laying claim to the fruits of my labors. It bothers me as does the SCOTUS ruling allowing states to tax out-of-state online sales. Irked, I am – not right this is.
Blah, Blah, Blah…
The current spat will result in lots of press for politicians in New Hampshire, including Democrats. Dan “income tax” Feltes is miffed at Charlie “Parker” and the state of Maskachusetts for playing this hand. But you and I both know that somewhere in the back of his mind, he’s wondering. How does a future governor Feltes tax Massachusetts residents working in New Hampshire? You know, after he passes that income tax, we know they all want.
So, feel free to ignore the chest-pounding on the left as well as their objection to the cross-border sales tax thing. The moment they pass a sales tax, they’ll be charging everyone everywhere for everything because there’s no such thing as too much government spending. But I digress, if only slightly.
On what leg or legs do we have to stand?
Massachusetts has been taxing the labor of Granite Staters for years without serious objection beyond water-cooler grumbling. The US Supreme Court has mandated that online “commerce” across state lines, an exchange of goods and services for money, is taxable. How is online labor across state lines any different?
At its simplest, you are exchanging goods and services, your knowledge and time for money. It is, effectively, a sale. Cash-starved spendaholics in the People’s Republic of Maskachusetts see it as a distinction without a difference.
Then there is the New Hampshire advantage. People travel freely between states, a protected right, and participate in acts of commerce that are untaxed. Massachusetts has, in the past, tried to tax that commerce upon their residents return to the broken cradle of liberty. No such luck. But what’s the difference?
If Massachusetts can tax online transactions delivered by someone else without violating our rights, why can’t they then tax those purchases as well? Doing your own pick up is an exemption?
It’s all broken – this latest act of theft will not fix it.
I do not expect that the State of New Hampshire will successfully stop Taxachusetts from milking their New Hampshire cows, and the reason is California. They tax everyone for everything that engages anything with even the most tenuous ties to that state. They can set their own rules – if you choose to “work” with anyone in or tied to California, no matter where you are, they will tax you.
In other words, the bluster is cute, but if that’s all it is, nothing gets better. And nothing changes until we set new precedents on which to build. If all the political parties in NH are aligned on this, maybe we can carve out a small win and use it as a wedge to win other concessions.
In other words, think like the Left. Every outrage is a chance for some policy victory even if it is not the one you thought you were after. To borrow from James O’Keefe, do something.