Messner Calls on Shaheen to End Silence on Question of New Hampshire Income or Sales Tax


Messner Calls on Shaheen to End Silence on Question of New Hampshire Income or Sales Tax

Contact: Carmelle Druchniak at

Bedford, N.H. – Republican U.S. Senate candidate Bryant “Corky” Messner today called on U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen to publicly take a stand on the question of an income or sales tax in New Hampshire.

The decades-old debate about broad-based taxes is heating up with Governor Chris Sununu’s recent veto of House Bill 712 passed by the Democrat-controlled New Hampshire House and Senate — a bill that he calls an income tax.

“Democrats and Republicans are once again talking about ‘the Pledge’ and whether an income or sales tax is an economic necessity or political ploy,” says Messner.

“As our most senior elected Democrat official, Senator Shaheen is in effect the head of the state’s Democrat Party, and as such, she owes it to her party and all Granite Staters to make clear whether or not she favors a state income tax,” he says.

He continues, “But as is her pattern, Senator Shaheen hangs to the rear on critical issues, and when the dust settles, she claims she was for the winning side all along, whichever side that might be. That’s what she calls being a ‘moderate.’ That’s what I call being politically expedient.”

Gov. Sununu called HB712 in effect an income tax. In his veto message, he pointed out: “Whether one chooses to characterize it as a ‘premium on wages,’ or a ‘payroll deduction,’ the reality remains that if it looks like an income tax, functions like an income tax, and takes money out of the pockets of hard-working taxpayers like an income tax, then it is an income tax.”

The veto has revived the debate in the Granite State about “The Pledge,” which for decades as been used by elected officials to signal their support of or opposition to so-called broad-based taxes, that is, income and sales taxes.

Every New Hampshire governor, Democrat or Republican, has taken “The Pledge” opposing a sales and income tax, with one exception: in seeking her third term as governor, Jeanne Shaheen refused to do so. While she did win re-election, her support of a statewide sales tax was defeated.

“With our economy here in New Hampshire still reeling from the effects of pandemic closures and restrictions, you might expect our elected officials to come down on the side of taxpayers, and reject any and all attempts to burden us with income and sales taxes, whether you call them that or not,” says Messner. “The last thing our residents and business owners need right now is another economic hit.”

About Bryant “Corky” Messner
Raised in a blue-collar family in Altoona, PA, Bryant “Corky” Messner attended the United States Military Academy at West Point, where he played football and prepared for military service. Upon earning the Army Ranger tab and graduating in 1979, he served in West Germany, witnessing firsthand the specter of the Iron Curtain during the Cold War. Following his military service, he attended University of Denver’s Sturm College of Law and went on to found the law firm Messner Reeves LLP, which today includes more than 100 lawyers, 200 employees and offices in nine cities.

Messner is a strong conservative, and remains passionate about giving back to the country that has offered him the opportunity to live the American Dream. His continued public service includes involvement with various non-profit organizations, including the Wentworth Watershed Association, the Army West Point Athletic Association, the Rise School Denver, and the Messner Foundation, which works to cultivate the next generation of business and community leaders.

A father of three, Messner’s two sons are West Point Cadets and his daughter is preparing to attend medical school. He resides in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire.

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