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No use: States hate liquor competition

January 15. 2018 9:47PM

Tax collectors in Vermont and New York are upset that people who shop at New Hampshire’s state-run liquor stores are bringing large quantities of booze over their borders.

New Hampshire sells more liquor per person than any state in the nation, not because we drink it all. It’s an export crop.

When Massachusetts sent agents to write down the license plates of people shopping at New Hampshire Liquor Stores, then-Gov. Meldrim Thomson sent state troopers to chase them away.

People can avoid sales taxes simply by shopping in states without them. So, many states’ sales taxes also cover the “use” of a covered product.

Vermont and New York think they have a right to collect a tax on alcohol sold in New Hampshire. Don’t expect Granite State officials to help them collect it.

Regulators in those states are now complaining about “bootleggers” bringing large amounts of liquor, legally-purchased in New Hampshire, into their states.

Liquor Commission Chairman Joseph Mollica says, “If Vermont wants to fine their residents into submission, that is their decision.”

If other states want to cut into New Hampshire liquor sales, they could lower their taxes.

If people are selling alcohol on the black market, regulators should crack down on them. They shouldn’t blame New Hampshire’s low prices for the problem.

State Government Editorial

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