As winter approaches, many New Hampshire residents and visitors are beginning to dust off their winter sports gear and head for the slopes. But could slope-seekers soon be facing a tax on their favorite winter activities?
State Representative Craig Thompson (D- District 14) has recently declared his desire to introduce legislation imposing a tax on ski lift ticket sales throughout New Hampshire. Thompson proposes instituting a tax on ski lift tickets at the same rate as the rooms and meals tax in New Hampshire, a 9% tax. Thompson proposes using the revenue from the tax to fund a scholarship program for New Hampshire students to attend in-state colleges and universities.
But while the additional revenue would undoubtedly help some New Hampshire residents, how could it impact the state in other ways? Critics of the proposal argue that the tax would have an overall negative impact on the state in targeting what Jessyca Keller, the executive director of Ski NH, calls “perhaps the number one driver of economic activity for tourism in the winter months.” Keller argues the tax would cause New Hampshire to have the highest ski tax in the Northeast, which could contribute to reduced winter tourism and a reduced tourism income to the state.
Opponents to the measure can at least be somewhat comforted by the fact that this is not the first time such a ski lift ticket tax has been proposed. Prior efforts to pass taxes on ski tickets have been introduced in recent decades, and have all been defeated by the Legislature prior to passage. Still, critics are concerned that the threat remains that the ski lift ticket tax could be enacted in the future.
At least winter sport lovers can rest easy that no ski lift ticket tax will be imposed on New Hampshire slopes during the 2019-2020 season, as no legislation has yet to be introduced or acted on in the New Hampshire legislature. For more information on New Hampshire taxes, please contact Paul Alfano at firstname.lastname@example.org or (603) 226-1188.