December was by far New Hampshire’s deadliest month for COVID-19 fatalities, with 233 recorded deaths, according to state data. That record high represents a 441.8% increase over November and a 32.4% increase over May of 2020, which recorded the state’s previous high of 176 deaths. 

The number of new recorded COVID-19 infections in December —23,034 — was more than double the total number of all recorded infections from March through November.

That huge increase in infections in just a few weeks indicates rapid and broad community spread of the virus. 

On Nov. 30, the state had tallied 20,994 total COVID-19 infections since the epidemic was first detected in New Hampshire. By December 31, the state had recorded 44,028 infections.

Total new infections in the month of November were 10,545. December’s 23,034 new infections represented a 118% increase over the previous month.

This rapid increase in infections and deaths is not unique to New Hampshire. December was the deadliest and most infectious month for the entire United States as well. 

As the Josiah Bartlett Center reported last month, the state’s hospitalizations figures are inaccurate, so we are not calculating a hospitalization total. 

The state officially listed an increase in total hospitalizations of only 63 for the month of December, an obviously incorrect number. The state went from 160 current hospitalizations on December 1 to 252 on December 15 to 317 on December 31. 

The large rise in daily numbers is not reflected in the state’s totals because the state does not include most hospitalizations in its totals.

The state’s official tally of total hospitalizations includes only people who were hospitalized when their COVID-19 infection was first recorded. Anyone hospitalized after the initial infection was recorded by the state shows up in the daily hospitalization count, but is not included in the total hospitalizations. 

Amid a historic collapse in transit ridership, the Executive Council has approved a $5.4 million contract to design a commuter rail line from New Hampshire to Boston. The contract is financed entirely with federal money, so New Hampshire taxpayers could choose to take some comfort in knowing that the state is throwing away what is mostly other people’s money. Nonetheless, it’s a waste of taxpayer dollars.

Americans have in the past year avoided mass transit like the plague, largely because of, well, a plague of sorts. But the trends before the rise of the coronavirus show a longer decline in ridership. 

In 2020, mass transit ridership fell by 50%, according to data kept by the American Public Transit Association. Commuter rail ridership fell by 62%. 

Transit ridership nationwide has been falling for years, according to federal data. (Commuter rail ridership has increased in the last decade, thought it’s leveled off in recent years.) 

In Boston, however, Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority (MBTA) commuter rail ridership has been in steady decline. 

The Pioneer Institute reported last year that MBTA commuter rail ridership fell by 11% (or about 4 million riders) from 2012-2018. 

In November, the MBTA reported that commuter rail was down to 13% of its normal ridership level.

Whether transit ridership will rebound to anything near its pre-COVID levels is an open question. It might. But commercial real estate rents, along with announcements by large and small companies that they are preparing to permanently switch portions of their workforce to remote work, suggest that urban work and commute patterns might forever be altered.

Again, even before the arrival of the coronavirus, technological advancements were driving declines in public transit. Ride sharing companies have given people another, more convenient way to move around cities and suburbs without relying on government-provided vehicles that travel pre-set, government-chosen routes. Those services are drawing riders away from mass transit, as this University of Kentucky study shows.

Rail is a 19th century technology that is ill-suited to solving 21st century transportation and environmental issues. The way forward is through innovation. Electric vehicles and autonomous vehicles will get people where they need to go while reducing greenhouse gas emissions and turning commute time into productive work time. They are far more versatile than trains and will serve people’s travel needs better.

That transition is already underway. And flying cars might follow, further changing the way we travel. New Hampshire doesn’t need to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to build a train to serve a declining number of commuters when tech companies are already working on alternatives that will better serve everyone. 

An education funding system in which education dollars go to families rather than directly to school districts is “the ideal,” Gov. Chris Sununu said at the Josiah Bartlett Center’s first Libertas Virtual Event on Thursday.

New Hampshire should focus on student outcomes, not how much funding the system gets, the governor said. 

“You can sum all this up with: It’s gotta be about outcomes for the kids, not outcomes for the system,” the governor said. “We have to stop worrying about the system as much as the kids.”

The governor advocated Education Savings Accounts, which are like health savings accounts, but for education. 

The state would deposit a portion of a child’s per-pupil allotment of adequate education aid into a government-approved savings account, which the parent could then use for education expenses. 

They offer a way to put students first, and the pandemic has increased demand for such a change, Sununu said.

“This isn’t about the traditional school choice battle. If you’re thinking about it that way, you’re way behind. Independent, non-political individuals… people that traditionally weren’t involved in this discussion are stepping up and saying, ‘wait a minute, where is my money going? Why isn’t my kid in school? Why are we stuck remote learning when we know that we can and should be having our kids in school, at least in some facet… and they’re getting involved in this discussion about where their money — not our money, their money — is being spent. That’s gonna raise the level of debate to where it needs to be.”

Letting the money follow the child is not about the quality of public schools, but about finding a model that serves every child’s needs, he said.

“We have great public schools here. But there are one, two, three, four percent of the population where it’s not ideal, and giving them that opportunity is huge.”

With so many parents angry and frustrated with the limited public schooling options presented this school year, 2021 could be the year that New Hampshire joins the six other states that have education savings accounts, Sununu said.

Republican House Speaker nominee Sherm Packard and Senate Majority Leader Jeb Bradley have introduced bills to create education savings accounts. 

In the 2017-18 legislative session, an education savings account bill passed the Senate but was narrowly defeated in the House. 

Even heading into an expectedly mild winter, New Englanders are being reminded that the region has a dangerous shortage of natural gas transportation infrastructure. 

ISO New England, the region’s independent electric grid operator, warned on Tuesday that a lack of natural gas pipelines puts the region at risk of a winter power shortage in a period of extreme, prolonged cold.

The North American Electric Reliability Corporation issued a similar warning in its Winter Reliability Assessment released last month. 

And in an interview with the Josiah Bartlett Center this week, the executive director of the Harvard Energy Policy Group at Harvard University said New England had avoided a winter power shortage purely by luck. 

“New England has had good luck. I don’t know how else to describe it,” Harvard’s Ashley Brown said. “One year, Venezuela dumped a bunch of gas. This year it’s a warm winter. It’s a matter of time until it catches up.”

The issue, Brown said, is a shortage of natural gas pipelines. 

“The fuel is there. The problem is moving it. It’s pipeline capacity, that’s what it is,” he said.

“The problem is two difficulties in building pipelines. One is the opposition, whether it’s environmental, whether it’s NIMBY. Then, after all that, you still have the problem of who’s going to finance it.”

ISO New England predicted that the region should have enough power to get through the coming winter. That comforting reassurance is what got the news headlines.

In part thanks to a winter temperatures that are expected to be warmer than usual, ISO New England projects electricity demand to fall 1.5 percent below last winter’s peak for normal weather conditions and 1.7 percent below its peak for extreme cold.

And yet the grid operator pointed out that New England remains at risk of running out of power during periods of peak demand caused by extreme cold.

Peter Brandien, vice president of System Operations & Market Administration, said in a statement that “if the region experiences an extended period of extreme cold weather, fuel supplies into the region could become constrained resulting in challenging system operation.”

The agency noted that a shortage of natural gas pipelines is cause for concern.

“Consecutive days of extremely cold weather can reduce fuel availability for generating power due to regional natural gas pipeline capacity constraints,” its announcement stated.

The North American Energy Reliability Corporation (NERC) report also predicted that the region would have sufficient energy to make it through the winter. But like ISO New England, it warned about insufficient gas pipeline capacity.

“New England [power] generation continues to be limited by the availability of natural gas,” the NERC report stated.

The report noted that gas supplies are adequate to meet demand even in abnormally cold conditions, however periods of severe and prolonged cold similar to 2018 “can lead to the eventual loss of generation.”

The report more than once referenced the nasty New England winter of 2017-18, which included a blizzard in January of 2018 that dropped up to two feet of snow across the Mid-Atlantic and New England states.

By not building enough natural gas pipelines, New England is taking a risky gamble, Brown said. And the longer the region gambles, the better the odds that the worst-case scenario happens, Brown said.

“The question is, how long will we be lucky in New England?”

Sponsored by

 

 

Join us on Dec. 17!

 

Gov. Chris Sununu and author P.J. O’Rourke headline a new virtual event series launched this month by the Josiah Bartlett Center for Public Policy.

Go here to make your reservations ($120 for the entire six-month series, $25 for one event): ww.jbartlett.org/donate.

The Libertas Virtual Event Series will run for six months, from December through May, and will focus on policies that promote economic freedom in New Hampshire. 

Gov. Sununu kicks off the series with a Zoom event at noon on Thursday, Dec. 17. We will have a lively discussion about the importance of economic freedom to New Hampshire, governing during a pandemic, and what’s in store for 2021. 

Author P.J. O’Rourke headlines January’s event, the date to be announced soon. O’Rourke is author of numerous books, including “Parliament of Whores,” “Peace Kills,” and the newly released “A Cry from the Far Middle.”

A new event featuring a different speaker will follow each month through May.

The Josiah Bartlett Center launches the series with generous support from prime sponsors AT&T and Sig Sauer, with additional support from Bank of America. 

The Libertas Virtual Event Series replaces the Bartlett Center’s 2020 Libertas Award Dinner, which could not be held because of COVID-19 restrictions.

Reservations for the entire six-month series are $120, which is only $20 per event. Reservations for individual events will be available for $25 each. 

Reservations can be made at www.jbartlett.org/donate.

Donations to the Josiah Bartlett Center, a 501(C)(3) non-profit organization, are tax-deductible. The Josiah Bartlett Center’s mission is to develop and advance practical free-market policies that promote prosperity and opportunity for all Granite Staters.

All events will be held via Zoom webinar. Attendees will be able to post questions to be asked by the moderator.

New Hampshire’s COVID-19 test positivity rate rose by 480% in November, indicating rapidly increasing community transmission, state data show.

The test positivity rate, including tests from the University of New Hampshire, rose from a 7-day average of 1.5% on November 1st to a 7-day average of 6.8% on November 30th, according to data from the state’s COVID-19 dashboard.

The state recorded 10,545 new infections in November, according to daily data drawn from the state’s COVID-19 dashboard. (The dashboard numbers are different than the numbers reported in the daily press releases.)

That’s a 383% increase from the month before and a 94% increase over the previous eight months combined.

Cumulative infections for March through the end of October totaled 11,189.

Hospitalizations rose at a much slower rate than infections throughout the month, and deaths remained flat.

The state recorded 60 new hospitalizations in November, up from 36 in October, for a 166% increase. But that monthly total remains less than half the total in July (128) and just 28% of April’s high (213).

The state recorded 43 new COVID-19 deaths in November, the same number as in October, for no increase. Deaths were higher in April (69), May (176), June (136) and July (44) despite each of those months recording only a small fraction of November’s infections.

That deaths remained flat from October to November despite a 377% increase in infections was unexpectedly good news.

However, December’s early death numbers are very high and caution against assuming that fatalities are under control. The state recorded 18 deaths through December 3, representing 42% of November’s total in just three days.

Every death in November was a person age 60 or older. Every death so far in December also has been a person age 60 or older.

Through December 3, just 19 of the state’s 544 deaths have been people under the age of 60. Only one person under age 40 has died of COVID-19 in New Hampshire. That person was between the ages of 20 and 29. Nearly 81% of all New Hampshire COVID-19 deaths (80.9%) have been residents of long-term care facilities.

 

New Hampshire is a small, remote, mountainous state with no major port or trade hub. Considering only natural economic resources, it has more liabilities than assets. Yet its economy is legendary. Its economic growth has been the envy of New England for decades. 

How did this happen?

The simple answer is that New Hampshire unleashed the power of human ingenuity by systematically pursuing economic freedom for its people. The human mind being the greatest economic asset, New Hampshire leaders freed it from unnecessary constraints. Tremendous prosperity followed. 

What we call “The New Hampshire Advantage” is not merely the absence of a broad-based sales or income tax. It is the result of a consistent, decades-long strategy of leaving individuals and businesses largely free to trade with each other as they see fit. 

In short, the state’s economic strategy is to not have an economic strategy, other than to leave people and businesses free. It has worked beautifully. 

Below are the inflation-adjusted real GDP growth rates of every New England state from 1977-2019, from worst to first, along with the rate for the U.S. as a whole. The data are from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis and were compiled by the United States Regional Economic Analysis Project. 

Rhode Island: 124%

Maine: 135%

Connecticut: 163%

Vermont: 188%

Massachusetts: 234%

New Hampshire: 335%

USA: 203%

New Hampshire’s 335% growth is astounding. Such are the benefits of economic freedom. 

The Fraser Institute, a Canadian free-market think tank, has for years ranked North American states on economic freedom. This week New Hampshire ranked No. 1 in North America — again.

For 24 straight years, New Hampshire has ranked as either the first or second most economically free U.S. state. Since Alberta, Canada, drifted away from free-market economics several years ago, New Hampshire has often ranked first in North America. 

As the authors of the Fraser Institute’s report point out, “economic freedom is positively correlated with per-capita income, economic growth, greater life expectancy, lower child mortality, the development of democratic institutions, civil and political freedoms, and other desirable social and economic outcomes.”

Many people assume that New Hampshire’s low levels of taxation and government spending would lead to a high poverty rate. The opposite is true. We have the lowest poverty rate in New England. 

The poverty rates for New England states are:

Maine: 10.9%

Rhode Island: 10.8%

Vermont: 10.2%

Connecticut: 10%

Massachusetts: 9.4% 

New Hampshire: 7.3%

Freedom and prosperity tend to attract people who live in less desirable places. During the half century starting in 1960, New Hampshire experienced the highest population growth rate in New England. In the 1980s, our population growth rate was more than double that of Vermont and five times that of Massachusetts.

A 2008 report for the Council on the Future of Vermont noted the sharp difference between New Hampshire and Vermont in the 20th century.

“Had we kept pace with their growth rate for the past 106 years, our population would now stand at 1.1 million, about double our present population,” it concluded. 

New Hampshire has gone from slightly more populous than Vermont in 1900 to more than twice as populous today.

Unlike Vermont, New Hampshire doesn’t have to pay people to move here. They come voluntarily.

In 2016, we surpassed Maine’s population for the first time in 215 years, though Maine is 3.78 times larger than New Hampshire.

Because humans are the world’s greatest economic resource, economic growth and population growth bring prosperity. Census figures show that New Hampshire’s median household income of $74,057 is about 25% higher than Vermont’s $60,076 and about 35% larger than Maine’s $55,425.

Despite having no Boston Harbor, Logan Airport, MIT, Harvard, BU, BC, or Yale, no Gold Coast along the Long Island Sound, and being relatively isolated in Northern New England, New Hampshire’s median household income is equal to 97% of Connecticut’s and 96% of Massachusetts’.

New Hampshire has a great state motto, which it should keep. But the state Department of Business and Economic Affairs could modify it into an accurate and catchy marketing slogan: “Live free and prosper.”

Since war and revolution gave way to trade and commerce, “Live free and prosper” has been the New Hampshire way. By cherishing economic freedom, we’ve created an island of liberty and prosperity in a region that has become distrustful of both. It works. Let’s stay with it.

New Hampshire is the most economically free state in North America for the second year in a row, and the third time in four years, finds this year’s edition of Economic Freedom in North America, the annual report from Canadian free-market think tank the Fraser Institute.

New Hampshire scored 7.84 out of 10 in this year’s report (down from 7.93 last year), beating out second-place Florida (7.73).

“The New Hampshire Advantage has made Granite Staters more economically free than roughly half a billion other North Americans, from Nunavut to Chiapas,” Josiah Bartlett Center President Andrew Cline said. “From the simple idea that people should be left as free as possible to pursue their economic dreams, we’ve created a continental marvel.”

Rounding out the top five freest U.S. states are Virginia (3rd), Texas (4th) and Tennessee (5th). At the other end of the index, New York (50th) is once again the least-free state, followed by West Virginia (49th), Alaska (48th), California (47th) and Vermont (46th).

New England states were ranked as follows: New Hampshire (1), Massachusetts (18), Connecticut (25), Maine (37), Rhode Island (43) and Vermont (46).

The report measures the extent to which the policies of individual provinces and states in Canada, the United States of America and Mexico were supportive of economic freedom, the ability of individuals to act in the economic sphere free of undue restrictions.

Economic freedom—the ability of individuals to make their own economic decisions including what to buy, where to work and whether to start a business—is fundamental to prosperity.

“When governments allow markets to decide what’s produced, how it’s produced and how much is produced, citizens enjoy greater levels of economic freedom,” said Fred McMahon, the Dr. Michael A. Walker Research Chair in Economic Freedom at the Fraser Institute and co-author of this year’s Economic Freedom of North America report, which measures government spending, taxation and labor market restrictions using data from 2018, the latest year of available comparable data.

From 2004 to 2018, the average score for U.S. states in the all-government index fell from 8.31 to 7.97. Across North America, the least-free quartile of jurisdictions had an average per-capita income 8.1 percent below the national average compared to 4.6 percent above the national average for the most-free quartile.

“Higher levels of economic freedom lead to more opportunity, more prosperity, greater economic growth, more investment and jobs,” said Dean Stansel, report co-author and economics professor at Southern Methodist University.

The Economic Freedom of North America report (also co-authored by José Torra, the head of research at the Mexico City-based Caminos de la Libertad) is an offshoot of the Fraser Institute’s Economic Freedom of the World index, the result of more than a quarter century of work by more than 60 scholars, including three Nobel laureates.

The U.S. edition of the report can be found EFNA-2020-US-POST.

Detailed tables for each country and subnational jurisdiction can be found at www.fraserinstitute.org.

This week, New Hampshire’s initial unemployment claims fell below 2,000 for the first time since March. And the state’s positive PCR coronavirus test rate edged up past 1% for the first time since the state started increasing its testing and calculating the percent-positive rate late this summer. Whether the state can keep the former trend going depends on how the latter is handled. 

It’s hard to overstate the importance of keeping the economy from sliding back into a recession. Contrary to the sentiments of delusional anti-capitalists who blithely assert that the economy can be sacrificed indefinitely for the purpose of crushing the virus, a thriving economy is a tremendous social good and ought to be a top governmental priority. 

When profits evaporate, so do jobs. When jobs evaporate, people suffer, especially those in the most vulnerable financial positions. 

As the National Institutes of Health has documented, people who lose their jobs suffer from higher stress and more medical ailments. As the Urban Institute documented after the last great recession:

“Being out of work for six months or more is associated with lower well-being among the long- term unemployed, their families, and their communities. Each week out of work means more lost income. The long-term unemployed also tend to earn less once they find new jobs. They tend to be in poorer health and have children with worse academic performance than similar workers who avoided unemployment. Communities with a higher share of long-term unemployed workers also tend to have higher rates of crime and violence.” 

Before the coronavirus hit New Hampshire, weekly unemployment claims were consistently below 1,000 per week. The state’s economy was an employment machine, allowing Granite Staters, both blue and white collar, to enjoy the dignity of work and self-sufficiency.

The lockdown caused unemployment claims to spike from 642 to 29,379 in a single week. Claims surpassed 30,000 for the next two weeks before starting to decline in April. As the economy slowly opened, unemployment claims fell and are now just under triple their pre-pandemic level (1,880 this week vs. 642 the week of March 14).

Some economic sectors remain in dire circumstances (think hospitality), but the economy as a whole has clawed its way back throughout the summer and is well positioned to continue growing. Locking down the economy again would be an economic and humanitarian disaster. 

In the second quarter, New Hampshire’s GDP declined by 36.9%. Another economic hit even close to that would devastate not just the state’s employers, but its non-profits, local governments, and the state budget. 

Businesses make the economy run, and the economy includes non-profits and government. Business profits make it possible for people to pay their mortgages and grocery bills, but also to pay their property taxes, donate to non-profits and churches, and generate the revenue that keeps schools open, roads maintained, and social services funded. 

Business taxes make up the largest single source of revenue for the state budget, accounting for $805.6 million of the state’s $2.6 billion in general and education fund revenue in 2019. The next-largest source, excluding property taxes retained locally, is the rooms and meals tax at $350.1 million. And of course strong rooms and meals tax revenue depends on a healthy hospitality industry. 

Other major taxes — the interest and dividends tax, the insurance tax, the communications tax, the tobacco tax — all depend on businesses to be successful and profitable. Even state liquor sales are business-dependent. The state doesn’t make liquor. It sells liquor and wine made by the private sector. 

Keeping the economy from collapsing again is mission critical for New Hampshire’s employers and for state and local governments. That’s why the governor’s order this week requiring restaurants to collect contact information from patrons was an encouraging sign. 

After several COVID-19 clusters associated with restaurants, the governor could have ordered restaurants closed, as some European countries are doing. Instead, at the request of the New Hampshire Restaurant Association, the governor ordered contact tracing. 

The goal of the order is two-fold. One, it reduces, if not ends, the state alerts that ask people who patronized a cluster-associated restaurant to come forward. Those alerts cause alarm and discourage people from going out to eat. They hurt all restaurants, which hurts the entire industry, making it more likely that struggling restaurants will close permanently. They also hurt the state budget by reducing rooms and meals tax revenue. 

Two, the order allows for quicker contact tracing, which can curtail the spread of the virus, helping to avoid other clusters or outbreaks. That, in turn, helps keep the broader economy open. 

COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations and deaths are expected to continue rising this fall and winter. The state’s response must not be a broad economic shutdown. They are devastating, and if Europe is an indication they are likely to be ineffective as people revolt against their restrictions. If another lockdown is to be avoided, the state and the people have to focus on suppressing clusters and outbreaks. 

The state can do only so much if people don’t take responsibility for their own behavior. As with most any other government intrusion in the name of public health, safety or welfare, if individuals decide to do their share, there will be less for the government to do on their behalf.

Three days after New Hampshire sued Massachusetts to stop it from taxing the income of remote workers, a New Jersey Senate committee passed a bill requiring their state treasurer to explore joining the suit. If New Jersey joins, New Hampshire will have started a multi-state effort to stop high-tax states from reaching across their borders to tax non-resident commuters. 

Last week, Massachusetts adopted a new administrative rule allowing it to collect income taxes on New Hampshire residents who work remotely for Massachusetts companies. On Monday, New Hampshire sued in federal court, calling the practice unconstitutional. But Massachusetts isn’t the only state to do this, and other states have taken notice of New Hampshire’s suit. 

For decades, New York State has applied its income tax to people who work remotely for New York companies. Hundreds of thousands of New Jersey and Connecticut residents have to pay New York income taxes even if they don’t physically commute into the state.

New Jersey state Sen. Declan O’Scanlon told the Josiah Bartlett Center that the New Hampshire lawsuit could bring justice for New Jersey residents too. 

“The lawsuit between New Hampshire and Massachusetts may very well pave the way to helping make the case,” he said.

O’Scanlon is co-sponsor of a bill that would require New Jersey’s treasurer to study the commuter tax issue and make a report to the state legislature. On Thursday, the N.J. Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee unanimously amended the bill to instruct the treasurer to explore joining New Hampshire’s lawsuit.

The bill then unanimously passed the committee. Its next step would be a vote before the full Senate, O’Scanlon said.

He and the bill’s prime sponsor, Sen. Steven Oroho, had been interested in pursuing a fight against New York for a while, O’Scanlon said.

“I had a couple of people send me stories about the New Hampshire lawsuit, knowing I have an interest in this,” he said. 

“There is no logical explanation of why we wouldn’t pursue our residents paying New Jersey taxes rather than New York taxes.”

A spokesman for the New Jersey treasurer was unavailable for comment, but O’Scanlon said the effort has bipartisan support and the governor’s office has taken notice. 

“I am hearing from within the Murphy administration that there is interest in this,” he said. 

When the bill gets to the full Senate, O’Scanlon said he doesn’t foresee any serious opposition.

“It should be like a hot knife through butter,” he said. “It will help our taxpayers and enhance our revenue. Not often do you have an issue that lines up like that. “

New Jersey allows residents to take a tax credit for income taxes paid to New York. So New York’s taxation of commuters costs New Jersey lots of money. Senators on the Budget and Appropriations Committee speculated that the cost could be in the billions of dollars. 

Edward Zelinsky, who teaches tax law at Benjamin Cardozo School of Law in New York City, told the Josiah Bartlett Center that New Jersey and New Hampshire are in the same position. 

“I believe it’s identical. From a constitutional perspective and a tax policy perspective, the issues are the same,” he said. 

“If the employer is in New York or in Massachusetts and you are at home in Connecticut or in New Hampshire, their position is that you owe income taxes. 

“Now, in fact, New York has gone very aggressively. New York is not just sending tax bills to people in Connecticut. New York has sent tax bills to people in Tennessee, in Arizona. Their position is that they can overstep the boundaries and send tax bills to anyone they want. In Massachusetts, they are technically saying the same thing.”

Zelinsky, who lives in Connecticut and works some days in New York City, sued New York over this issue in 1994 and lost in the New York state courts. The U.S. Supreme Court refused to take up the case.  But he said that legal scholars have come to see his — and New Hampshire’s — position favorably.

“I lost in court; I won in the arena of academic opinion,” he said.

In its lawsuit, New Hampshire states that “Massachusetts has unilaterally imposed an income tax within New Hampshire that New Hampshire, in its sovereign discretion, has deliberately chosen not to impose.”

The suit states that its purpose is “to rectify Massachusetts’ unconstitutional, extraterritorial conduct.”

Zelinsky said the constitution favors New Hampshire, but the big question is whether the Supreme Court will hear the case. That will be up to the discretion of the justices. But he will be among the many commuters and remote workers pulling for the Granite State.

“I’m saying very openly that I’m cheering New Hampshire on.”