In 2012 there were unnecessary and nonsensical tax cuts that caused real damage to residents and programs across the state. The marriage license fee was cut $5. REALLY? Is $5 even a blip on the screen of wedding planning of any scale? What does that mean to the individual - a $5, maybe $10 or possibly a $15 savings in a lifetime? And yet, the cut when taken cumulatively meant the loss of over $27,000 in 2013 alone. Worse yet, this meant a cut in the operating funds for domestic violence assistance and prevention in the State which receives funding through the marriage license fee. There were similar nonsensical, cuts in the cigarette tax, fishing license fees, etc that cut millions from designated funds and the general fund.
With the return of the majority of the house to the Republicans (and a stronger majority in the Senate), we see the same nonsense happening again. One of the concepts is to cut business taxes. For example, the Senate has SB1 and SB2 to cut the Business Profits tax and Business Enterprise taxes. This is projected to reduce the General Fund $78 million in the first biennium.
Consider this from the NH Fiscal Policy Institute:
Of the roughly 59,000 businesses that filed BPT returns in 2011, the vast majority – over 44,500 – had no tax liability; similarly, approximately 24,900 of the 59,000 BET returns that year had no liability either. In fact, according to the Department of Revenue Administration, more than 19,000 businesses – or close to a third of all businesses filing a tax return — owed zero BPT and BET in 2011. (source)
This cut won't help new businesses (not enough profits to tax yet) or most small businesses (with limited profits to tax and less BET liability). This will help larger business and corporations which can afford to pay the taxes they owe for the services they use in NH. NH businesses already enjoy a lower tax burden in NH than they do in all but 11 other states.(source) Why should we cut taxes incrementally with limited if any impact on most of the businesses in the state when it means significant and substantial cuts to the General Fund at a time when the funds for infrastructure and Health and Human Services are on the chopping block?
By the way, our Senator - Regina Birdsell (R) - is one of the prime sponsors of SB1 and SB2.
A collection of perspectives, quotes, writings, tweets and clips that got me thinking - so I'm passing them along to you ~ Kristi - Windems Chair