Pappas cosponsors bill to stop tax on workers at home

CONCORD (AP) — A bill supported by U.S. Rep. of Chris Pappas would protect New Hampshire employees from being taxed while working from home during the coronavirus pandemic.

The bill was created after Massachusetts enacted an emergency regulation last month. It requires residents in other states who were working in Massachusetts before the pandemic to be subject to Massachusetts’ income tax while they work from home. Previously, Massachusetts allowed non-residents to deduct a portion of their taxable income based on the amount of time spent working outside of the state.

The Multi-State Worker Tax Fairness Act would clarify 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 New Hampshire residents employed by companies based in other states, the bill would eliminate the need to pay any state income tax.

“At a time when many New Hampshire residents are teleworking from home in order to keep their families and their communities safe, it is completely unfair for Massachusetts to levy an income tax on these workers,” Pappas said in a statement.

Pappas introduced the bill with fellow Democrat Jim Himes of Connecticut.

Latest numbers

The state Department of Health and Human Services on Friday announced 39 new positive test results for COVID-19, but no additional deaths. There have been 419 COVID-19-related deaths to date.

There have now been 6,779 cases of COVID-19 diagnosed in New Hampshire. Of the latest cases with complete information, three are under age 18. The new cases reside in Rockingham County (13), Hillsborough County other than Manchester and Nashua (4), Merrimack (3), Belknap (2), and Strafford (2) counties, and in Manchester (10) and Nashua (3). The county of residence is being determined for two new cases.

One new hospitalized case was identified for a total of 700 (10.3%) of 6,779 cases. The state lists 23 current hospitalizations, 365 cases as being active and 5,995 people as having recovered.

In the Seacoast, the state lists seven active cases in Rochester, Dover and Portsmouth, and five in Exeter and Brentwood. All other towns are listed as having zero to four cases.

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Personal protective equipment

Sen. Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire is cosponsoring legislation aimed at addressing shortages of personal protective equipment during the coronavirus pandemic.

Hassan, a Democrat, is joining Republican Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania in introducing two related bills.

One would temporarily suspend all tariffs on all medical products that the International Trade Commission has listed as necessary for responding to the pandemic. The other would require the commission to regularly update that list, and would require federal agencies to work together on policies affecting domestic supply of such products.

The senators said their goal is to eliminate roadblocks in the global supply chain that make it harder and more expensive to obtain the supplies.

“We’re more than six months into this pandemic, and I continue to hear from New Hampshire business owners, school leaders, health care providers, and others who are concerned about access to personal protective equipment,” Hassan said in a statement. “These bipartisan bills will take commonsense steps to eliminate some of the barriers that have made it more difficult and expensive for the U.S. to obtain critical PPE and medical equipment.”

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