Democratic New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan is under fire for leading the charge to implement a "turkey tax" on hunters that could triple the fees Granite State residents have to pay to hunt the Thanksgiving Day staple.
Hassan, who announced in October that she plans on running for the U.S. Senate seat held by Kelly Ayotte in 2016, voted five times to significantly increase the fees that New Hampshire hunters and fishers must pay for their state licenses, a move that has increased financial pressure on those who make a living from the trade.
Hassan's efforts to boost these taxes have drawn criticism from advocacy groups and Republicans in the state, who accuse the governor of attempting to penalize outdoorsmen of all stripes.
"Hunting and fishing are quintessential New Hampshire pastimes, and Maggie Hassan’s record shows she is no friend to Granite State sportsmen," America Rising, a conservative PAC, stated in a recent press release. "Voting for massive hikes on hunting and fishing fees to pay for more government spending is the Maggie Hassan Way, not the New Hampshire Way."
Hassan voted in favor of the Trailer Bill in 2007. The legislation would have tripled the amount that in-state hunters have to pay for wild turkey hunting applications, boosting the fee from from $5 to $15.
Out-of-state individuals would have seen their application fees grow from $5 to $30 as a result of the legislation. Similarly, non-resident moose hunting application fees would have been increased to $450 under the legislation.
Hassan backed a similar tax proposal in 2009 that aimed to hike the fees paid for saltwater fishermen. The fee for annual licenses would have been increased from $300 to $500 for out-of-state commercial fisherman.
Hassan also voted that year to implement a licensing fee for those fishing crab and lobster. Residents would have been taxed $50 a year under the legislation, while non-state residents would have been charged $500 annually.
Hassan's efforts to boost New Hampshire's taxes and push new regulations have earned her the name "Governor Gridlock" from Republican critics.
"Under Hassan’s failed leadership as a do-nothing Governor, New Hampshire’s economy has stalled and businesses have threatened to leave the state because of her open hostility to pro-growth policies that would create good-paying jobs for Granite Staters," the National Republican Senatorial Committee said in a recent statement. "Not to mention, Hassan has proposed raising $100 million in taxes and fees on the backs of working families and voted 82 times for tax and fee increases that became law as a state legislator."