Friday, August 29, 2014

N.H. Supreme Court Dismisses Challenge To Education Tax Credits On Standing Grounds

In Duncan v. State of New Hampshire, (NH Sup. Ct., Aug. 28, 2014), the New Hampshire Supreme Court vacated and remanded a trial court decision that invalidated New Hampshire's Education Tax Credit program. The trial court held that the program was a violation of the state constitution's ban on compelling any person to support sectarian schools. (See prior posting.) In yesterday's decision, the state Supreme Court did not reach the merits of the argument, but instead dismissed on standing grounds.  The Court summarized its holding:
We do not reach the merits of the petitioners’ declaratory judgment petition because we conclude that: (1) the 2012 amendment to RSA 491:22, I, which allows taxpayers to establish standing without showing that their personal rights have been impaired or prejudiced, is unconstitutional; and (2) absent that amendment, the petitioners have no standing to bring their constitutional claim.
AP reports on the decision.