March 11. 2013 11:36AM

John DiStaso's Granite Status: NH RNC member not alarmed by early moves to jumble 2016 presidential primary, caucus calendar

By John DiStaso, Senior Political Reporter

MONDAY, MARCH 11: Less than two months after Barack Obama began his second term, speculaion about possible future candidates is not the only maneuvering already occurring looking ahead to 2016.

Moves by other states to head off New Hampshire and Iowa's first-in-the-nation primary and caucus positions have also already begun.

The western states of Nevada and Arizona are the culprits this time. Nevada already has special "carveout" status for an early caucus under the rules of the two national committees.

But, according to Real Clear Politics, Republican lawmakers there introduced legislation to hold a primary instead and to hold it on the third Tuesday in January.

An Arizona lawmaker is sponsoring a bill to hold the Arizona primary on the same day as the Iowa caucuses.

Both national parties have worked hard after the leapfrogging of past cycles to set up solid calendars with heavy penalties for states that do not oblige.

The committees' calendars allow New Hampshire and South Carolina to hold early primaries and Iowa and Nevada to hold early caucuses, but no sooner than February of 2016, with other states beginning their parade of events in March of that year.

In New Hampshire, Republican National Committeeman Steve Duprey says there is no reason for alarm -- yet.

Duprey said the moves will probably be discussed when the RNC meets in Los Angeles in April.

"I don't think Nevada will be a threat because if they try to make a move they will in all likelihood lose their status as one of the carveout states," he said.

"Arizona always presents this problem but the fact the Republicans included Nevada really eliminated any need for Arizona to go early. With the new penalties, I doubt any candidate would want to run in Arizona," said Duprey.

(Earlier Granite Status Reports follow.)

MONDAY, MARCH 11: "COUNTER-PRODUCTIVE." The conservative issues advocacy group Americans for Prosperity – New Hampshire (AFP-NH) charged today the budget trailer bill released last week by Gov. Maggie Hassan contains 10 new taxes and fee hikes that are "counterproductive to job creation and economic growth."

"We should be looking for ways to reduce the burden on the backs of small businesses, the backbone of our state's economy," said Greg Moore, AFP-NH state director. "Unfortunately, many of the tax increases in the budget directly impact the job creators in New Hampshire. The last thing we need is to add to the weight of some of the highest business taxes in the nation. We hope the legislature reverses this economically destructive course and puts the focus back on economic growth and job creation."

(For earlier Granite Status reports click on "Granite Status" above.)

Hassan spokesman Marc Goldberg responded, "The governor's balanced budget proposal begins restoring critical investments in the priorities needed to create good jobs and build a more innovative economic future, such as higher education, economic development, mental health and public safety. It is a fiscally responsible proposal that keeps general fund spending below FY 2008 levels, is based on conservative revenue estimates, and is funded in part by reversing some of the bad decisions made in the last budget and by further delaying tax changes that the last Legislature opted not to pay for or implement."

AFP-NH pointed out that while the governor's budget includes a number of business tax increases, it did not include language to collect the $80 million in revenue the governor included in her budget from a casino license fee, "to allow gambling that is currently illegal under New Hampshire state law."

Moore said the governors tax and fee increases "stick it to the small businesses of New Hampshire."

Moore suggested lawmakers "start from scratch to look for ways to help our employers gain the confidence to hire new workers and add new jobs here."

According to AFP-NH, the tax and fee increases in Hassan's proposed budget include:

- a 50 percent hike in all saltwater fishing fees, hikes range from $5 to $50.

- delaying Business Profits Tax Loss Carryforward expansion to $10 milion from Jan 2013 to January 2014.

- Elimination of the education tax credit against the Business Profits Tax.

- New fees for plumbing and fuel gas fitting companies.

- giving Fire Control Board new authority to create fees for Certified Water Treatment Technicians (new license).

- retroactively delaying expansion and indexing for inflation of Business Enterprise Tax exemption from 2013 to 2015.
-- raises tax on packs of cigarettes by 30 cents-a-pack.

- increases the tobacco tax on other products

- delays the increasing of BET credits toward the BPT from 5 to 10 years from 2014 to 2015.

- new bank examination fees to replace existing methodology of charging pooled costs to banks to pay for the cost of regulating the industry.