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Economic plans: Business taxes and NH's growth

The two Republicans vying for the chance to take on Gov. Maggie Hassan this fall have issued serious proposals to address the very real and very ignored problem of New Hampshire’s declining economic health.

Though New Hampshire’s overall tax climate is very positive, our business taxes are high and discourage growth and investment in comparison to our neighbors.

New Hampshire’s business profits tax rate is 8.5 percent, which is higher than Massachusetts’ corporate income tax and equal to Vermont’s highest rate. Maine and Vermont both have graduated corporate income taxes, so small firms pay much lower rates than they would pay in New Hampshire.

In addition, New Hampshire has a business enterprise tax that applies even to businesses that do not turn a profit.

Gubernatorial candidate Walt Havenstein has proposed cutting the state’s business profits tax to 7.4 percent and requiring proposed laws and regulations to carry notes estimating their impact on employment.

Havenstein’s Republican rival, Andrew Hemingway, has proposed consolidating business taxes and the Medicaid enhancement tax into a flat business tax, which would apply to non-profits as well as for-profit businesses.

These candidates are addressing one of the most important economic problems New Hampshire faces. Gov. Hassan? She remains focused on raising revenue, not creating jobs.

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