A Horse Tax?

They should do one thing at a time, do it well, and then move on

All across America, people are worried that they will be included in the next round of layoffs and lose their homes. Americans fight a daily battle to make do with less. There are people eating ramen noodles and macaroni and cheese trying to save money for that rainy day that always seems to be right around the corner.

Some of our state legislators are either unaware of this struggle, or simply don’t care. A good example is HB 427-FN-A-LOCAL. You can read it for yourself here: http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/legislation/2009/HB0427.html. This bill calls for a $25 annual licensing fee for “equines”. Proof of rabies vaccination will be required.

So, big deal… only rich people have horses, right? Wrong. First of all, some people sacrifice a lot to keep horses out of love for the animals. Secondly, is it really the government’s place to stereotype people in this manner?

People who board horses will be affected, as will some farmers. The bill applies to “equine as defined by RSA 436:93”. The definition in RSA 436:93 is as follows – “”Equine” means any member of the equine family which includes horses, mules, asses and zebra.”

Let’s be clear about the motive behind this. There is no public safety issue, no imminent rabies threat; in fact there hasn’t been a case for years. This is simply a way to pick the pockets of a very specific group of taxpayers to raise revenue. Shame on them.

The state government is in the midst of a sweeping review of their budget, and a massive undertaking to cut back costs and expenses. The Sullivan County Republican Committee applauds these efforts.

We must resist the urge for panic measures. We should allow the state to go through their process and then see if we really have a revenue problem. This bill actually states that while they aren’t requesting additional personnel to deal with all the extra work involved in creating and tracking these new licenses and payments, it will add significantly to the workload of an existing “Data Control Clerk II”. Towns are on their own to figure out how to deal with it.

We believe that the best course of action is to not distract the legislature from their most important task, reducing their spending. We should also stop giving already swamped state employees other things to do, and allow them to focus on the massive budget cut mandates that they are already dealing with.


For more information or to schedule interviews, please contact:

Steven Smith

Communications Chairman

Sullivan County Republican Committee


[email protected]