Jeb Bradley: Protecting advantage
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On July 19, Gov. Chris Sununu signed SB 242, legislation I sponsored that provides some protection for New Hampshire retail and online merchants that could be forced by the U.S. Supreme Court’s Wayfair Decision to collect a sales tax on purchases made by visitors in our state. SB 242 represents a triumph of bipartisanship, sober recognition of the threat N.H. businesses confront and persistence of legislators, the attorney general, the governor and his staff.
First, some background. Just over a year ago, the Supreme Court overturned many years of precedent and ruled the “physical presence” of a retail establishment does not determine collection or payment of a sales tax. For example, under the Supreme Court ruling, when an out-of-state visitor shops in N.H., the N.H. merchant could be responsible to collect and remit the sales tax, for the visitor’s purchase to that state.