YOU WOULD think by now that the conservatives and tax cutters in the New Hampshire Legislature would have earned the benefit of the doubt when it comes to fiscal policy.
After all, their steady management of the state’s finances has generated a boom in tax revenues to fund schools and infrastructure projects, initiate new drug prevention programs, increase revenue sharing with cities and towns, and still have more in the till.
The Granite State closed out its most recent fiscal year with a budget surplus of more than $400 million. Most of that came from the state’s two business taxes, the Business Profits Tax and the Business Enterprise Tax. Revenues from both were way up over the previous fiscal year and well ahead of projections. It must be noted that these revenues have grown despite (or, as I will explain, because of) more than half-a-decade of Republican tax rate cuts.
You see, fiscal conservatives are operating under a simple and tried premise. Lower tax rates stimulate more economic activity, which stimulates more economic growth, which in turn generates more tax revenue.
Still, some in the House, most of them members of the minority party, are stuck at this pons asinorum of fiscal policy and cannot comprehend how lower tax rates can grow the public treasury, especially lower rates on those “greedy” corporations. When Republican leaders embarked on this tax cutting journey, their opponents said it was doomed to fail and would blow a giant hole in the budget. On this matter they have been proved irremediably wrong.
The tax cutters are back this legislative session with new ideas to keep the momentum going. House Majority Leader Jason Osborne (R-Auburn) is proposing to eliminate the state’s communications services tax (HB 133). Rep. Jeanine Notter’s (R-Merrimack) HB 15 would further reduce the BET from 5.5% to 5%. And Rep. John Janigian (R-Salem) has put forth legislation (HB 100) to accelerate repeal of the state’s Interest & Dividends Tax to Dec. 31, 2023.
Still, our economic law of revenue growth through tax cuts has its limits. A tax rate of zero yields zero revenue. And Osborne and Janigian are looking to eliminate two taxes altogether. Their goal, it appears, is to make the state yet more competitive with our high-tax neighbors and more attractive to the people looking to flee them.
Some Democrats in the Legislature want to actually increase the Interest & Dividends Tax. HB 192 would repeal the previously passed phase out of the I&D Tax, which supporters of the bill say would deprive the state of much needed funds should a recession hit the economy. They had nothing to say about depriving the taxpayers of their much-needed funds should the same recession hit.
Sen. Dan Innis (R-Bradford) thinks keeping the I&D Tax would be a bad idea. “By proposing to end the phasing out of the Interest and Dividends Tax, opponents expressed their desire to increase the financial hurdles faced by state residents,” he said of a similar bill in the Senate. “Imposing a tax on retirement income on New Hampshire seniors only encourages them to relocate to states which do not impose such a tax, like Florida. It’s critical that we end this trend.”
Interestingly, the Wall Street Journal recently observed a trend among deep blue states California, New York, Illinois, Maryland, Hawaii, Minnesota, Connecticut and Washington to bilk high-net-worth individuals as they attempt to escape these high-tax jurisdictions by imposing new wealth taxes. “The confiscatory tax alliance emerged late last week when lawmakers from eight states unveiled plans to target wealthy residents,” wrote the Journal editors.
The Journal quoted Illinois state Rep. Will Guzzardi saying, “We want to send a message that there is nowhere to hide.”
The statement is chilling. Imagine the disdain Mr. Guzzardi and his colleagues must have toward these taxpayers and his fellow residents.
Amazing. And alarming.
Before these rapacious wealth taxes take hold — and there is little doubt they eventually will — people looking for a new home should be made aware that the Granite State is rolling out the red carpet. You’re welcome here anytime.
Patrick Hynes is the president of Novus Public Affairs. He can be found on Twitter @patjhynes.
IF YOU search for "safe space" on the Foxnews.com website you'll get over 46,000 results. All of them aren't about those woke snowflakes who need trigger warnings and cry rooms. But a whole lot of them are.
I TALKED to a friend last week whose Lutheran church in Minneapolis is trying to attract people of color. Lutherans have been white for centuries, coming as they did from Scandinavia and Germany, countries that were never great colonial powers and didn’t grab big chunks of Africa and Luthera…
IN LATE 2019, Politico asked a high-ranking Biden aide about the candidate’s age. “If Biden is elected,” the anonymous adviser said, “he’s going to be 82 years old in four years and he won’t be running for reelection.”
WHEN DISNEY began lobbying against a parental-rights bill in Florida that would prohibit public school teachers from discussing sex, sexual orientation or so-called gender identity with prepubescent kids in kindergarten through third grade, Gov. Ron DeSantis proposed a special session of the…
THE TRAGIC killing of two U.S. citizens this week in the border town of Matamoros, Mexico, should, in a just world, refocus American attention on the glaring problem of transnational drug cartels’ de facto control of large swaths of our perilously porous southern border. That the two America…
IN CASE you’re wondering why I was not in church Sunday morning, I was in the Omaha airport at 6:30 a.m. waiting for a flight back to New York, listening to an announcement that unattended baggage would be confiscated, eating a breakfast croissant and blueberry yogurt, drinking coffee, which…
FOR AT LEAST the last 20 years, politicians in Washington, at the behest of green energy groups, have spent some $100 billion of taxpayer money to fight climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. How is that going for us so far?