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NH Gov. Chris Sununu Calls Mass. Income Tax Decision 'Direct Attack' On State

CONCORD, N.H. (CBS/AP) – New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu said Massachusetts is trying to "balance its budget on the backs of our citizens" as it seeks to collect income tax from Granite State residents who normally work in Massachusetts but have been working remotely during the coronavirus pandemic.

Sununu made the comments Monday as New Hampshire filed suit in the U.S. Supreme Court to fight a final ruling of an emergency regulation issued Friday by the Massachusetts Department of Revenue.

Read: New Hampshire Lawsuit To U.S. Supreme Court

The Massachusetts regulation will require income earned by non-resident employees who work remotely to be taxed. It also says if an employee worked in Massachusetts prior to the COVID-19 state of emergency, their income will "continue to be treated as Massachusetts source income."

About 100,000 New Hampshire residents regularly commute to Massachusetts for work.

"In the middle of a global pandemic, Massachusetts has launched a direct attack on the defining feature of the New Hampshire advantage, and has taken actions to undermine New Hampshire's sovereignty," Sununu said Monday.

In August, the New Hampshire Attorney General Gordon MacDonald, in a letter to the Massachusetts Department of Revenue, called the temporary tax measure unclear, overbroad and said it raised constitutional concerns.

The Massachusetts regulation will remain in effect until Dec. 31 or 90 days after the coronavirus state of emergency in Massachusetts is lifted. Massachusetts has a 5.05% income tax. New Hampshire has no income tax.

Sununu said Monday it is an "unconstitutional overreach." The Supreme Court has jurisdiction in disputes involving two or more states.

New Hampshire is seeking to refund residents who have paid any taxes under the policy, plus interest.

"Massachusetts cannot balance its budget on the backs of our citizens and punish our workers for making the decision to work from home and keep themselves and their families and those around them safe," Sununu said.

Patrick Marvin, spokesman for the Massachusetts Executive Office for Administration and Finance, issued a statement about the lawsuit.

"The Commonwealth has implemented temporary regulations that are similar to those adopted by other New England states. The Administration does not comment on pending lawsuits," he said.

(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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