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Focus on sales taxes: Keep special session limited

July 09. 2018 10:54PM

Under New Hampshire’s quirky, but time-tested division of labor in state government, the governor and council can call the Legislature back into special session, but the Legislature sets its own rules on what to do once it comes back.

Gov. Chris Sununu will ask the Executive Council this week for a special session in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in South Dakota v. Wayfair, which will allow states to compel online businesses in New Hampshire to collect their sales taxes for them.

Our $100-per-year representatives should not have to travel to Concord year-round, so special sessions should be used sparingly. But with other states eyeing a new source of revenue, there is ample justification to respond quickly, rather than waiting until January.

Surely, many lawmakers will have issues they believe worthy of immediate attention. They should avoid this temptation.

Failure to act on a representative’s pet project does not constitute an emergency. Candidates should tout their top priorities when running for the House and Senate this fall. Incumbents will even be able to file new legislation before Election Day.

During an anticipated special session, lawmakers should focus on the sales tax question, agree on solutions, and then go home.

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