New Hampshire Lift Ticket Tax Proposal Gaining Momentum
The proposed 9% tax would target independent ski areas.
Tuesday, December 24, 2019, NewEnglandSkiIndustry.com
Five Southern New Hampshire Democrat lawmakers have sponsored legislation which would levy a 9% tax on ski lift tickets. HB 1652-FN-A would use the tax revenue to fund scholarships for department of corrections inmates, with remaining revenue going to a general scholarship fund.
New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu, former general manager of Waterville Valley, has pledged to veto the bill if it reaches his desk.
Sponspored by Jennie Gomarlo (D-Swanzey), Lee Oxenham (D-Plainfield), Joe Schapiro (D-Keene), Michelle St. John (D-Hollis), and Craig Thompson (D-Harrisville), the bill would apply to one- to three-day lift tickets for buyers above the age of 18 starting with the 2020-21 ski season.
With skier visits skewing toward multi-area season pass products, independent ski areas would see a larger impact from the tax.
The tax would not apply to the Vail Resorts Epic Pass, the largest selling season pass product in the world. Vail Resorts operates four New Hampshire ski areas: Attitash, Crotched, Mt. Sunapee, and Wildcat.
It is not clear how the Department of Revenue Administration would handle multi-area products such as the Ikon Pass and Indy Pass, in which skiers pay an out-of-state entity that then compensates participating New Hampshire areas based upon their redeemed day tickets.
Other parts of the bill include a requirement for ski areas to obtain a license to sell lift tickets, as well as a clause allowing state liquor stores to sell lift tickets.
The average adult lift ticket in New Hampshire is $75.16, placing it between Vermont ($97.15) and Massachusetts ($60.92). Vermont currently levies a 6% tax on lift tickets.