WASHINGTON — The U.S. Supreme Court has decided not to hear a suit New Hampshire brought against neighboring Massachusetts over taxing remote workers during the pandemic.

Gov. Chris Sununu claimed it was not fair for the Bay State to collect income taxes on commuters who could not access their desks and offices because of COVID-19.

The suit he brought would have challenged the Massachusetts Department of Revenue’s rule imposing a state income tax on Granite Staters working from home.

On Monday, both Republican and Democratic leaders in the state expressed disappointment the case would not be heard. A copy of the ruling can be found at scotusblog.com/case-files/cases/new-hampshire-v-massachusetts/.

Sununu issued the following statement: “By siding with the Biden administration and allowing inappropriate taxation of N.H. citizens, the Supreme Court is setting a costly precedent. This decision will have lasting ramifications for thousands of Granite State residents.”

The decision to deny a hearing was made Monday, with Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito willing to grant the motion, according to the court’s website.

N.H. House Majority Leader Jason Osborne (R-Auburn), said he was disappointed with the decision. “After two years of trying to force an income tax on New Hampshire, Democrats can thank Massachusetts for doing their dirty work for them.”

N.H. Senate Democratic Leader Donna Soucy (D-Manchester) and Deputy Senate Democratic Leader Cindy Rosenwald (D-Nashua) issued a joint statement: “Granite State workers who were following public health guidelines at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic should not be punished with an out-of-state income tax. We are disappointed in the Supreme Court’s decision to not take up New Hampshire’s motion which would have challenged this anti-worker ruling.”

U.S. Rep. Chris Pappas (D-N.H.) criticized the court’s decision and said he plans to help reintroduce legislation he co-led to address the issue.

“I’m incredibly disappointed the Supreme Court chose to reject New Hampshire’s challenge without explanation, leaving tens of thousands of Granite Staters unfairly paying an income tax to Massachusetts for remote work done during a global pandemic,” said Pappas.

“It is clear that the most effective solution at this juncture is a legislative fix, one I’ve been pushing since the early days of the pandemic. No one working in New Hampshire should ever pay Massachusetts income tax. At a time when telework is increasingly common and when every dollar counts for New Hampshire families recovering from this economic crisis, I will continue to fight to protect Granite Staters’ hard-earned money from unfair, out-of-state taxes.”

The Multi-State Worker Tax Fairness Act, which Pappas helped introduce in the last Congress, would protect N.H. residents from unfair taxation by clarifying that workers are only required to pay income tax to the state where they were physically present when the income was earned. Specifically, for teleworking Granite Staters employed by companies based in other states, the bill would eliminate the need to pay any state income tax whatsoever.

U.S. Rep. Annie Kuster, (D-N.H.) said: “The Supreme Court’s refusal to consider this case could have long-term consequences for our state’s workforce and places additional financial strain on hardworking N.H. families who are being forced to pay income taxes for a state in which they do not live.”

“I maintain that the Massachusetts rule change is an unconstitutional violation of state sovereignty, and I will continue working in Congress to pass laws and ensure no state has the authority to infringe upon the economic freedom and liberty of our New Hampshire citizens,” Kuster said.

Americans for Prosperity-New Hampshire State Director Greg Moore said, “Massachusetts’ cash grab hurts Granite Staters who followed COVID-19 protocols from the state of Massachusetts. This effort forces any former Massachusetts commuter, no matter where they live, to pay the state’s high income taxes.”

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(2) comments

Randel

I think the sjc was correct in their decision.it doesn't matter if you work remotely or not, if you work for a company in another state and that state charges a tax on income, it's only logical that a tax must be paid. I live in NH and do work in N.Y.. I must pay NYS income tax. Lots of states require it. There is also a commuter tax and so New Jersey and ct residents must pay nys tax if they commute as well. The law suit never should have been filed as it was destined to fail,

TheBerliner

Of course you need to pay NYS income tax, that is the law today. The fact that you are liable for that tax is EXACTLY what is at issue.

What services are New York providing for you when you are working remotely in NH? Police protection? Fire? Road maintenance? Your kids' education? Your parks?

Of course not. It's a confiscatory cash grab that siphons wealth back out of your pocket and to New York only 5 states (and now Massachusetts) have the balls to attempt, and New Hampshire is completely entitled to seek legal redress.

New York already taxes your employer plenty even without also dipping into your pocket. It's pure greed, and they're getting away with it.

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