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Hassan's 'compromise' -- Big, regressive tax hikes

EDITORIAL
July 25. 2015 7:04PM




Gov. Maggie Hassan's so-called budget "compromise" would amount to a net tax increase of $34.7 million and would create a regressive shift of the tax burden from higher-income to lower-income Granite Staters and from larger businesses to smaller ones.

Hassan agrees to cut business taxes by $26.3 million (on top of $21 million in the Legislature's budget), but she proposes raising taxes and fees on businesses, smokers and drivers by $82 million. Cigarette taxes and auto registration fees, which Hassan proposes increasing, fall harder on lower-income Granite Staters, so Hassan is proposing to pay for business tax cuts partially by raising money from middle- and lower-income people.

To offset cuts to the business profits and business enterprise taxes, she proposes collecting more from proprietorships and Limited Liability Companies, which tend to be small businesses. She previously claimed the business tax cuts would go largely to big, out-of-state corporations. By her own logic, her plan would give a tax break to large, out-of-state firms and raise taxes on small, in-state businesses.

She had to know that a proposal to raise taxes on small businesses and lower-income Granite Staters would not fly in the Legislature, so this clearly is not a serious overture. Legislators are justified in rejecting it.


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