Fox Business anchor and Hampton native Trish Regan says NH missed the boat on GE's moveBy MIKE COTE
August 19. 2017 6:47PM
Fox Business anchor Trish Regan isn't shy about sharing her opinions. It's part of her job. Lucky for the New Hampshire, Regan has great things to say about her native state.
But she has tough love for our elected leaders: They should have found a way to lure General Electric when the company decided to move its headquarters out of Connecticut.
"I cite New Hampshire a lot on the air because having grown up there, it made such a big impression on me. It's the Live Free or Die state," the Hampton native said during an interview last week. "And I always point out that in New Hampshire both sides agree on one thing - which is that they don't want to be taxed any more.
"So whether you're on the left or on the right, you're not about to be out campaigning for a state income tax because we have no state income tax. I think there's a sense in New Hampshire among everyone that government spends whatever government has. And so you need to keep government on a fairly short leash."
Regan says that's something that has helped define her economic principles and how she approaches discussions about policy, especially taxation.
"I think no income tax at the individual level is really smart. And I'm really proud that New Hampshire has done that. I think they can do more. I look at the corporate structure there, and I look at General Electric, which left Connecticut and went to Massachusetts, and I wondered why our lawmakers in New Hampshire weren't doing more to recruit a business like GE. Why aren't we changing our tax policy so that we recruit more businesses?"
General Electric, which operates a jet-engine business in Hooksett that employs 800 people, chose Boston's Seaport District for its new corporate headquarters.
"That was a missed opportunity as far as I'm concerned," Regan said. "(New Hampshire leaders) should have been working far more aggressively to create an environment that would have been hospitable to a company like GE. And I hope they start to work on that going forward."
New Hampshire's corporate tax rate dropped to 8.2 percent this year and is scheduled to decline to 7.5 percent in January 2021 due to legislation signed this year by Gov. Chris Sununu. But it's still on the high side, Regan says.
"I get that they have to make their money someway somehow, and they do have real estate taxes. But the answer is not to punish business," Regan said. "The answer is to bring more business there so that you have more revenue in the state."