Home » Opinion » Editorials
A House budget: Preparing for bigger tax hikes
Gov. Hassan proposed spending far more than the state had to spend. To do it, she raised a bunch of taxes and fees and included $80 million in revenue from casino licenses. The House cannot include the casino revenue because it did not pass the bill authorizing new casinos. So it had to scale back Hassan's spending by more than $50 million.
So the House budget is more realistic than Hassan's. Yet it includes enough new spending, paid for by tax and fee hikes, that it should not pass. There is the 30-cents per pack cigarette tax hike, which has been in the news a lot. But did you know that the budget hikes saltwater fishing license fees by 50 percent and increases marriage license fees? It also raises the gasoline tax by 12 cents per gallon and contains business tax hikes. For instance, the Legislature last year let businesses "carry forward" operating losses of up to $10 million on future tax returns. The budget postpones that law for a year.
It also contains policy changes that have no place in state budgets. Legislators in the last session finally zeroed out the state's Certificate of Need Board, which increases health care expenses by forcing providers to get board approval before buying certain new equipment or opening new centers. It suppresses competition, keeping prices high. The budget inexplicably brings this cost-raising, bureaucratic nightmare back to life.
To their credit, House budget writers resisted the temptation to fully fund every wish of their party's varied constituent groups, which are legion. They spend less on the University System of New Hampshire, for example, than Gov. Hassan proposed, and less on some social services. But they still spend more than the state has or is likely to have in the next two years. This budget is a return to the bad old days of pushing spending up beyond our ability to pay for it, with the design of justifying future tax hikes when revenues inevitably fall short of the politicians' "priorities."
READER COMMENTS: 0
- Thomas Sowell: Liberal urban police policies won't quell riots - 0
- Another View -- Frank Guinta: I am uniquely qualified to represent NH in Congress - 11
- Deroy Murdock: The indictment of Rick Perry is bizarre and unfounded - 0
- Another View - Marc Champion: A strong terror policy would cure Obama's golf woes - 0
- Jonah Goldberg: Obama confuses the TV world with the real one - 2
- George Will: In defense of the defenders - 0
- Roger Simon: Is Ferguson the future? - 0
- Charles Krauthammer: Stopping the worst people on earth - 0
- Lynn Preston's NH Legal Perspectives: What prospective real estate purchasers need to know - 0
READER COMMENTS: 1
- Police mum on reported shooting in Manchester - 0
- Manchester men charged with drive-by shooting in Nashua - 0
- Multiple reports say deal reached for Arthur T. to buy Market Basket - 0
- Fisher Cats get behind early, fall to Senators - 0
- Sox downed on pinch-hit homer - 0
- Sister of accused Boston marathon bombers arrested after bomb threat - 0
- Authorities mum about reports of shooting in Manchester - 0
- Bruins agree to long-term agreement with Providence - 0
- Stewart probe goes on - 0
Where is Shaheen? Hiding from you
Weekly brother gave police wrong name