Home » Common Cents » Currently Reading:

Collecting What NH Is Owed

April 17, 2013 Common Cents

On Friday, the Legislature’s Fiscal Committee will hear a request from Attorney General Michael Delaney to allow his office to pursue litigation against online travel companies for meals and rooms taxes they may owe.  Not only should the Committee approve the request, but the Legislature as a whole should consider ways to strengthen the collection of the meals and rooms tax.

As this study from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) explains, New Hampshire is among a number of states with loopholes in their laws related to the taxation of hotel room rentals.  Online travel companies, such as Travelocity and Expedia, have been able to exploit those loopholes, asserting that they owe room rental taxes solely on the wholesale price that they pay hotels for the rooms, rather than on the retail price that they charge their customers.  CBPP estimates that the loss from these practices could cost New Hampshire on the order of $1 million per year.

In response, numerous lawsuits have been brought by states and municipalities against online travel companies to try to recover the funds that are properly due.  As the Union Leader’s Gary Rayno points out in a recent column, many of those suits have either been decided in favor of state or local governments or have produced negotiated settlements.  The request from the Attorney General would, if approved, permit him to hire the National Online Travel Litigation Group, which has developed expertise in this area, to recover any unpaid meals and rooms taxes.

Connect with NHFPI

Common Cents Blog

House Fails to Pass State Budget, Process Moves to Senate

6 Apr 2017

tree with coins

The New Hampshire House, for the first time in recent history, has opted to not pass the State Budget bills, introduced as House Bill 1 and House Bill 2. April 6 was the deadline set by legislative leadership to pass those bills out of the House and move them to the Senate, a day often referred to as “crossover.” The Senate phase of the budget begins after April 6, and the Senate has expressed an intent to move forward with a budget in the Senate Finance Committee. However, with no House Bill 1 or House Bill 2 crossing over, the Senate has to forge an alternative path to debate and amend the budget.