New Hampshire sent $314 million more to the federal government than it received from the feds in a year’s time, according to a new report.
That gap worked out to an average of $234 for every New Hampshire resident during the 2017 fiscal year, according to the report from the Rockefeller Institute of Government in Albany, N.Y.
Co-study author Michelle Cummings cited several reasons why New Hampshire received 98 cents back for every dollar it sent to the federal government.
“The higher incomes (earned) combined with the fact you don’t have necessarily the accessibility to some of the contracts and wages that many of the ‘winner’ states have the ability to leverage, like Virginia and like Kentucky” led to New Hampshire’s imbalance, Cummings said Wednesday.
Massachusetts got 83 cents back for every dollar sent to Washington, while Maine got $1.74.
New Hampshire tied for the ninth worst overall dollar imbalance. New York (first), Massachusetts (third) and Connecticut (fourth) recorded worse imbalances for the 2017 fiscal year, which ended Sept. 30, 2017.
Measured on a per-capita basis, the Granite State finished seventh worst, at $234 per person: New Hampshire averaged $11,399 per person sent to the federal government and received $11,165 in return. Massachusetts residents paid $2,343 more on average than they received — 10 times more than Granite Staters.
The head of the Granite Institute, a nonpartisan research and educational organization in Concord, cited the federal government’s progressive tax structure, which imposes a lower tax rate on lower wage earners, as well as the state’s high cost of living.
“The two reinforce each other and result in a higher tax burden than the rest of the country, which has a lower cost of living and therefore can get by with lower wages and salaries and maintain the same standard of living,” said CEO J. Scott Moody, who has done previous calculations of federal spending.
Moody’s analysis of the 2013 fiscal year showed New Hampshire was “the fifth biggest net loser of federal spending relative to federal taxes paid.”
“It’s been that way for a very long time,” Moody said.
According to two different U.S. Census surveys, New Hampshire’s median household income ranked either first or eighth-highest in 2016.
In an email, Sen. Maggie Hassan said: “Granite Staters deserve to see our fair share of what we pay in federal taxes come back to support critical priorities for our state.”
Hassan cited work by herself and Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, both D-N.H., to secure more than a $40 million increase in federal funding for New Hampshire to combat the opioid crisis over two years.
The Rockefeller report said New Hampshire sent nearly $15.31 billion to the federal government and received $14.99 billion back during the 2017 fiscal year.
Moody predicted President Donald Trump’s tax cuts “will trim the gap” between what New Hampshire pays and receives. He said a flat tax would help lessen that imbalance.
The new Rockefeller report includes such things as federal worker wages, welfare payments, Social Security checks and the amount of money spent where work related to federal contracts is done, according to Cummings.
Virginia benefited the most, with a net gain of nearly $87.3 billion, followed by Florida at nearly $45.9 billion.