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Joseph W. McQuaid: Triple play for the NH Advantage

New Hampshire Union Leader Publisher

April 10. 2012 11:34PM

Banning a personal income tax in New Hampshire by means of a constitutional amendment makes all the sense in the world - unless, of course, you like the idea of such a powerful and corrosive government confiscation of your money.

With Democratic gubernatorial candidates once again refusing to pledge to veto such a tax, this November's ballot is the perfect place and time to let the people have a direct say on a matter that has been so crucial in protecting the New Hampshire Advantage.

Some of the arguments being heard against CACR 13 make us question the fiscal colors of those advancing them. One claim is that if we outlaw an income tax, business taxes will go up.

This is a very old tune with new lyrics. It is usually the property tax that is the bogeyman the broadbasers like to use to push their pet levies.

The reason that we don't have a broadbased income or sales tax is because our state and local governments know they must live frugally and within the means of those paying the bills. Because property and business taxes are so sensitive and so conspicuous, politicians raise them at their peril.

Let an income tax be enacted and, as has happened everywhere else, those other taxes won't be cut. The pols will continue to try to hike them whenever they can, even as an income tax generates a huge new load of cash and builds a huge and ever-expanding government.

Another argument against CACR 13 is that with a proposed school-funding constitutional amendment also possibly on the ballot this fall, having too many ballot questions will be counterproductive. Perhaps, but these two, along with a third limiting overall state spending or taxes, would be welcomed by most Granite State voters.

All three questions are perfectly appropriate for constitutional consideration. They would make a triple play that voters are quite capable of understanding and approving, if the Legislature will let them.

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