Senate panel recommends killing bill that would send more meals-and-rooms revenue to generating communities
A Senate committee yesterday recommended killing a bill that would send more revenue from the state’s meals-and-rooms tax to the towns and cities that generate the money in the first place.
The Ways and Means Committee voted, 5-0, to recommend the full Senate
kill the bill, which was
introduced by Hampton Republican Sen. Nancy
Stiles and has 10 additional sponsors, including Democrats and Republicans
from both the Democratic-led House and GOP-led Senate.
A portion of the revenue from the state’s 9 percent tax on restaurant meals and hotel rooms is distributed to cities and towns based on population. Under
Stiles’s bill, 56 percent of that money would
still be distributed based
on population, but 44 percent would be distributed based on the source of the revenue.
That would benefit communities with ski resorts, restaurants and other tourist draws, and officials from Portsmouth, Hampton and Carroll (home to the Omni Mount Washington Resort) all testified in support of the bill last month.
But during the Feb. 12 hearing, Lempster Sen. Bob Odell, a Republican and chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, said the legislation would widen the gap between communities with tourist infrastructure and communities that lack such facilities.
“I think that going down this road is a very dangerous process,” he said at the time.
There was no discussion yesterday before the panel’s unanimous vote.