House Leaders Blast New Democrat Plan to Hike Rooms and Meals Tax

CONCORD – House Majority Leader Pete Silva (R-Nashua) and Deputy Majority Leader and Ways and Means Chairman Stephen Stepanek (R-Amherst) today took Democrats to task for yet another tax increase on working families with candidate for Governor Maggie Hassan promoting a hike in the Rooms and Meals Tax.  At a forum discussing tourism yesterday, the Union Leader reported that Hassan stated, “I’m not going to support any raise in the rooms and meals tax above 9.5 percent.”  The current rate is 9%, after Hassan led efforts to pass a budget in 2009 that increased the rate from 8%. With her latest proposal, she personally would be responsible for a 12% increase in the jobs killing rooms and meals tax.

House Majority Leader Pete Silva

“First an income tax, next a gas tax hike, then a beer tax increase and now this attack on our wallets.  It doesn’t matter if you are going to work, filling your tank, drinking a beer or just going out have lunch, the Democrats have a plan to tax you more.  Raising the rooms and meals tax again, up to 9.5%, would devastate the economies of border communities like Nashua, as it would make our tax on eating out much higher than Massachusetts (6.25%) and Maine (7%).  This would take the New Hampshire Advantage we have for our retailers for not having a sales tax and turn it into a New Hampshire Disadvantage.  We don’t need to see restaurants in Nashua packing up and moving to Tyngsborough, or from Salem to Methuen, thanks to Maggie Hassan and the Democrats’ tax increases.”

House Deputy Majority Leader Stephen Stepanek

“Maggie Hassan and the Democrats already increased the tax mom-and-pop restaurant owners across New Hampshire by 12.5% a short three years ago.  They are just now recovering from this, and now she wants to hike that same tax by another 5.5%.  This makes no economic sense, no sense to attract businesses and jobs here and no sense to add one more hit to the working families who are trying to get by and might want to take their children out to eat occasionally.  The hardworking taxpayers are struggling and paying enough, but in the Democrats’ eyes, they are simply one more source of revenue to pay for an every growing state government.”