The Anteroom

SUPCO case heard today: does NH have a stake?

By Curtis Barry

The Portland Press Herald today reports on two Maine lawyers arguing today before the U.S. Supreme Court in a case that sounds dreadfully familiar.  The case is related to a Colorado law that requires “out-of-state retailers, such as Amazon and L.L. Bean, to report their Colorado customers’ purchasing activity to the Colorado Department of Revenue”.  The Press Herald goes on to say the Maine lawyers argue that “the Colorado law concerns data collection, not tax collection”.

The ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court in this case seems to potentially have bearing on New Hampshire law, RSA 78-D which was enacted in 2009 when then-Senator Maggie Hassan sponsored SB 5, prohibiting retailers from disclosing private customer information to foreign states in connection with the collection of certain sales and use taxes.  That bill was introduced in response to the now-famous Town Fair Tire case, in which the tire retailer objected to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ attempt to collect sales tax on Massachusetts residents from locations in New Hampshire.

New Hampshire policy-makers should watch this case closely.