(CONCORD, NH) Senator Jeanne Shaheen twice urged the Internal Revenue Service to investigate politically-active groups seeking tax-exempt status, even as the IRS was two years in an operation illegally targeting conservative organization.
The New Hampshire Democrat first joined six Senate colleagues in a February 16, 2012 letter to then-IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman
, urging him to investigate groups seeking tax-exemption under Section 501(c)(4) of the federal tax code. This provision allows "Social Welfare Organizations" to avoid federal taxes, but prohibits them from intervening in political campaigns. Shaheen and company pushed Shulman to crack down on 501(c)(4) organizations funding politically-themed ads.Read More>>
NH grapples with the end of a 20-year old budget gimmick
The Josiah Bartlett Center for Public Policy, New Hampshire’s free-market think tank, today released a new study on the state's twisted history under the Medicaid Program. Meet the MET: New Hampshire budget writers grapple with a brand new tax that's been around for 20 years details the history of the Medicaid Enhancement Tax, how the current budget increased tax liability for New Hampshire hospitals, and how unrealistic revenue estimates could ruin Governor Maggie Hassan's budget proposal.
"For the last two decades, the MET wasn't a real tax, so budget writers didn't pay close attention to how it worked," said Grant Bosse, the study's author. "By better understanding the mechanics of this complicated revenue stream, they can ensure that MET misunderstandings don't blow a multimillion dollar hole in the state budget."Read More>>
Much like the amplifiers used by Spinal Tap, political discourse in New Hampshire this year has been turned up to 11. And just as an over-modulated sound system will distort your music, it’s been pretty hard to hear any reasonable discussion of politics over the din of partisans being outraged at each other.
Anger is a useful emotion when appropriate. It’s also far too easy to manipulate by political hacks looking for short-term advantage. Anger makes for great copy, snappy headlines, and effective fund-raising emails. Last week, it seemed like the only tool that either party knew how to use.Read More>>
After 15 years trying to take a bite out of the internet, state tax collectors took a huge step closer this week. The U.S. Senate voted to advance legislation allowing states to force online retailers to collect sales taxes for them.
The 1992 U.S. Supreme Court decision Quill Corp. v North Dakota prevented states from drafting out-of-state businesses as tax agents unless they had a significant physical presence in that state. The internet sales tax bill, dubbed the Marketplace Fairness Act by some staffer who’d read Orwell, would force retailers to collect taxes based on the buyer’s address, even if the seller was in a state with no sales tax.
At issue isn’t the sales tax itself, but the little understood use tax. Massachusetts assesses the use tax on residents who buy cars in tax-free New Hampshire but register them in the Bay State. The law actually requires Massachusetts residents to keep track of everything they buy in New Hampshire that would be taxed if bought in Massachusetts. Few do so.Read More>>
FOR THE MONITOR
Contrary to what you may have heard from CNN, the president, or other unreliable sources, this is how the U.S. Senate is supposed to work. Senators debated legislation, considered competing amendments and voted. The process isn’t broken just because you didn’t like the result.
That hasn’t stopped gun control advocates from declaring the end of republican democracy after the Senate failed to pass the latest attempt to whittle away a few more slivers from the Second Amendment.Read More>>