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New Hampshire repeals taxes on lottery prizes

New Hampshire LotteryNew Hampshire Lottery: New Hampshire repeals taxes on lottery prizes
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Lottery commission celebrates with "Tax Repeal Tea Party"

CONCORD, N.H. — Starting Monday, New Hampshire residents no longer have to pay taxes on their lottery winnings.

The state imposed a 10 percent tax on gambling winnings over $600 in 2009, but the tax was repealed by the current Legislature under a bill going effect Monday.

Gov. John Lynch last week signed into law the bill repealing the tax, which officials said hurt the racetrack and battered lottery sales after the state enacted it two years ago.

"It was great news," lottery executive director Charlie McIntyre said.

"It was definitely a losing proposition," said House Majority Leader D.J. Bettencourt, R-Salem. "This was hurting our cross-border advantage."

The lottery commission is celebrating with a "Tax Repeal Tea Party" at its headquarters.  It's also unveiling a new $10 instant ticket called "$250,000 Tax Free."  Federal taxes on the top prize for the game will be paid by the state.  The tickets will be available at the lottery commission office Monday, with a buy one, get one free promotion, and then statewide starting June 6.

After the 10 percent state tax was imposed in 2009, lottery officials watched as scratch ticket sales, especially in border community stores, plummeted immediately and continued downward.

Scratch sales were off 5.82 percent statewide last year. "We were down and Massachusetts, Maine and Vermont were all up," McIntyre said. "To me, that was the statistic that was most telling."

McIntyre said the impact was dramatic. "We noticed the drop-off in the border towns specifically," McIntyre said. "All were much worse off."

Scratch sales in Pelham and Salem tumbled 10 percent.

The lottery does big business in Southern New Hampshire. More than $18.3 million in scratch sales and $9.2 million in online or jackpot sales in the last fiscal year.

Because scratch players weren't playing as much, that likely hurt jackpot sales, too. "We have crossover play," McIntyre said. "Someone who buys a scratch ticket often will play Powerball, too."

The lottery wasn't the only operation taking a hit. So was the track.

"We saw about an 8 percent reduction in our overall handle and revenue in the areas of charitable gaming, bingo and racing," Callahan said.

"We had people who packed up and moved away to a more favorable state," Callahan said. "We'll see if it bounces back. I think it will take six months. There's no guarantee, of course."

Players lost to other states may never return, Callahan said.

McIntyre believes lottery winners were carefully watching the repeal developments.

"Our weekly sales report showed cashings were down dramatically," McIntyre said. "I'm sure people were holding off."

Bettencourt said the House, Senate and governor all agreed to repeal the tax. He was critical of the governor, though. "He should have been proud to do this," Bettencourt said. "This helps Salem and Southern New Hampshire."

Reaction from lottery players was positive.

"We can use all the little breaks we can get now," said Nancy Kelley of Sandown. "You can take that 10 percent and put it in your gas tank."

"That's cool," said Renee Ferland, also of Sandown. "Ten percent? That's an awful lot of money you have to pay in taxes. Not to mention what you spend for tickets."

Jim Hennessey of Northwood said he would have been surprised to win and get hit with the tax.

"If I won $100 million and they took 10 percent, that would be quite a bit," Hennessey said. "I would have asked, 'What did they do?"'

Leon Vitale of Hudson said he never knew about the tax. "I just give them my dollars every week and pray like everybody else," Vitale said.

The tax on winnings was just "ripping them off even more," Vitale said of lottery players. "They take enough out of us with regular taxes."

The repeal didn't matter to Terri Godfrey of Windham because she said the lottery helps fund education in New Hampshire. "If I was lucky enough to win $1 million, and got to keep $900,000, I wouldn't mind $100,000 going toward something good," Godfrey said.  [Editor: Of course, Godfrey left out the other $250,000 that the federal government would take, leaving her with only $650,000, instead of $750,000 she would now get without the 10% state tax.]

Godfrey did pause to wonder about the consequences of repeal. "Where is the money going to come from now?" Godfrey asked. "Are they going to start taxing my car more?" [Editor: No, they would sell many more lottery tickets, bringing in even more revenue than they did with the 10% tax.]

Jackie Jendrick of Salem said the repeal made no difference to her. "I would have had no problem paying that tax," Jendrick said.

Keith Wilhelm of Windham was pleased to hear a tax had been repealed in New Hampshire. "That's always a good idea," Wilhelm said. "How can that be a bad thing?"

News story photo(Click to display in gallery)

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29 comments. Last comment 3 years ago by Mink404Ski.
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Boney526's avatar - NjlpLogo
New Jersey
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October 18, 2010
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Posted: May 22, 2011, 11:39 pm - IP Logged

I've always kind of liked New Hampshire.

It just got a little better.

    James1's avatar - 5599078405 12a562a9e7_t.jpg
    Florida
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    Posted: May 22, 2011, 11:46 pm - IP Logged

    There shouldnt be any taxes on the lottery to begin with. you practically pay a hidden tax by playing anyway why you got to pay more if you win ??

    2014 Highest Winner: $500

      Coin Toss's avatar - shape barbed.jpg
      Zeta Reticuli Star System
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      Posted: May 22, 2011, 11:51 pm - IP Logged

      LIVE FREE OR DIE!

      Hope this catches on. Kind of apropos as NH started state lotteries this time around.

      Those who run the lotteries love it when players look for consistency in something that's designed not to have any.

      Lep

      There is one and only one 'proven' system, and that is to book the action. No matter the game, let the players pick their own losers.

        OldSchoolPa's avatar - Lottery-057.jpg
        Gurnee, Illinois
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        February 12, 2007
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        Posted: May 23, 2011, 12:09 am - IP Logged

        Illinois....federal government, are you listening?!!!  Oops I forgot that we have a tax and spender in both locations....oh well, congrats NH.

        Get MONEY!!! Winning a JACKPOT lottery is all the HOPE and CHANGE I desire!!!  NOW give me MONEY!US Flag

        The guy who won the presidency in 2008 really won the lottery...he is now millions richer, travels in first class style, and even has a staff that would be the envy of the richest Powerball winner (she has a staff of 2). Every night he goes to sleep, he probably plays the close of Dave Chappelle's Show: I'm rich beyatch!

          MADDOG10's avatar - smoke
          North Jersey
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          Posted: May 23, 2011, 4:38 am - IP Logged

          Finally nice to see some people in Government who are in step with the times and realize that the citizens are put first.                     Kudos to the legislature in N.H...!!

                                                                    Your Best Teacher, is Your Last Mistake.

            savagegoose's avatar - ProfilePho
            adelaide sa
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            Posted: May 23, 2011, 4:49 am - IP Logged

            wow , just wow. kudos to the state, wonder why? too many people driving over the border to a non taxing state? anyhow  i hope sales pixk up for em.

            2014 winnings

            JAN -$48.50;  FEB  -$77.5; MAR -$18.05;  APR -$96.05 MAY -$61.10; JUN $-85;

              hearsetrax's avatar - 78638c467ef281febf24383e126f74b6

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              Posted: May 23, 2011, 6:50 am - IP Logged

              Big Grin

                dallascowboyfan's avatar - tiana the-princess-and-the-frog.jpg
                Oklahoma
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                Posted: May 23, 2011, 8:26 am - IP Logged

                Finally nice to see some people in Government who are in step with the times and realize that the citizens are put first.                     Kudos to the legislature in N.H...!!

                Thumbs Up

                  sully16's avatar - sharan
                  Listens to the wind

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                  Posted: May 23, 2011, 9:58 am - IP Logged

                  Finally nice to see some people in Government who are in step with the times and realize that the citizens are put first.                     Kudos to the legislature in N.H...!!

                  AMEN, Big way to go New Hampshire.Cheers

                  There's only one US Flag

                    Avatar
                    Long Island, NY
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                    Posted: May 23, 2011, 10:19 am - IP Logged

                    wow , just wow. kudos to the state, wonder why? too many people driving over the border to a non taxing state? anyhow  i hope sales pixk up for em.

                    You can drive over the border all you like you still pay taxes in your state of residence.  What this article doesnt say is what will be cut to make up the difference which is more the talking point.  More than likely education.

                      James1's avatar - 5599078405 12a562a9e7_t.jpg
                      Florida
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                      Posted: May 23, 2011, 10:56 am - IP Logged

                      By the way, every scratch off should be like this one and note the top prize as an after tax prize.

                      2014 Highest Winner: $500

                        rdgrnr's avatar - walt
                        -Ridge Runner- Oracle of the Appalachians
                        Way back up in them dadgum hills, son!
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                        Posted: May 23, 2011, 11:23 am - IP Logged

                        Kudos to NH but it's too bad that this lesson had to be learned the hard way once again.

                        Libs always think burdensome and confiscatory taxes are going to raise revenue and once again we see that they're wrong. They usually reduce revenue. Revenue increases when taxes are lowered.

                        What amazes me though are the dopes who say that they didn't mind paying the extra taxes - as if they think the government is better at handling their money than they are and knows better what to do with it. If those taxes were such a good thing then why don't they voluntarily keep paying them? Why not give extra on tax day? It's perfectly legal. If you think the government needs more money, by all means, give it to them!

                        Unfortunately, that's not the way the liberal model operates.

                        When a lib thinks something is a good idea, they want everyone to do it, not just them. They want everyone forced to do it under threat of prosecution and imprisonment under the full force of the law. They love the idea of being under the thumb of government and having the government running every aspect of their lives, including deciding what best to spend their money on.

                        And therein lies the rub - the rest of us neither want nor need a nanny.

                        It would be so nice if the libs would take a lesson from this but they won't - they never do. They're notorious for instituting the same failed policies over and over and over. They're oblivious to the fact that they don't work because they want them to work so badly.

                        So as long as there are dopes that need nannies running their lives we will have to deal with their charges fulfilling their dreams of nannihood through more and more and higher and higher taxes.

                        Fortunately, the voice of the people was heard in this particular issue because the people were able to vote with their dollars by spending them elsewhere.

                        And the Almighty Dollar (yours), is all the libs in government care about.


                                                                     
                                             
                                                                 

                         

                         

                         

                         

                                                                                                                           

                        "The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing"

                                                                                                                    --Edmund Burke

                         

                         

                          rdgrnr's avatar - walt
                          -Ridge Runner- Oracle of the Appalachians
                          Way back up in them dadgum hills, son!
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                          Posted: May 23, 2011, 11:32 am - IP Logged

                          You can drive over the border all you like you still pay taxes in your state of residence.  What this article doesnt say is what will be cut to make up the difference which is more the talking point.  More than likely education.

                          Unbelievable!

                          You still don't get it, do you?

                          Nothing is going to be cut because of removing the tax! The tax is what would have caused things to be cut!

                          Education will get more money now without out the tax!

                          Why do you people choose and insist on wishful thinking with your insane ideals over reality every time?

                          Why don't you go to California and join a commune or something, comrade. Then you can live in peace giving everything you own or earn to the group leader and have the security of knowing he will take care of you and tell you what to do and what to think and make all of your decisions from now on. Liberal Nirvana!


                                                                       
                                               
                                                                   

                           

                           

                           

                           

                                                                                                                             

                          "The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing"

                                                                                                                      --Edmund Burke

                           

                           

                            time*treat's avatar - radar

                            United States
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                            Posted: May 23, 2011, 11:42 am - IP Logged

                            After the 10 percent state tax was imposed in 2009, lottery officials watched as scratch ticket sales ... plummeted immediately and continued downward.

                            Scratch sales were off 5.82 percent statewide last year. "We were down and Massachusetts, Maine and Vermont were all up," McIntyre said. "To me, that was the statistic that was most telling."

                            The repeal of the tax was not some great moral revelation. The tax cost them revenue. They responded to the only vote a citizen has that counts anymore -- voting where and whether to spend his money. Withholding cash works better than phone calls, marches, or petitions and it can't be countered by subterfuge and force.

                            In neo-conned Amerika, bank robs you.
                            Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms should be the name of a convenience store, not a govnoment agency.