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March 11. 2013 8:58PM

Americans for Prosperity says Gov. Hassan's budget has tax increases

CONCORD - The conservative issues advocacy group Americans for Prosperity-New Hampshire (AFP-NH) charged Monday 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."

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 fiscal year 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 said 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 governor's tax and fee increases "stick it to the small businesses of New Hampshire."

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 million from January 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 the 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 the tax on cigarettes by 30 cents a pack.

--Increases the tobacco tax on other products.

--Delays the increasing of BET credits toward the BPT from five 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.


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