Speaker Candidate Rep. William O’Brien’s Statement on the Non-Partisan Tax Foundation Identifying New Hampshire as Third Worse in the Country for Business Taxes
In 2010 when the Republicans took back the majority in New Hampshire’s Legislature, Democrat tax increases during the preceding two, Democrat-dominated legislative terms had driven New Hampshire down to the bottom of all states in the country for business tax according to the non-partisan Tax Foundation. New Hampshire had the highest business taxes in the country. We were number 50.
Republican fiscal reforms in the 2010-2012 legislative session paid off. By 2013, New Hampshire jumped past four states and went from last in the nation – the state with the highest overall business taxes – to number 46. The signs looked good for more progress.
Unfortunately, New Hampshire has experienced another two years of Democrats controlling the New Hampshire House. According to the annual Tax Foundation survey released today, New Hampshire has now fallen back to number 48 and the signs are not good.* With another two years of a Democrat House majority together with the most liberal Democrat governor in New Hampshire’s history, we will be back at the bottom again.
To know how harmful this huge tax burden is on businesses and job growth, we need only compare New Hampshire to Wyoming. Wyoming’s business taxes are the lowest in the country and its economy grew 7.6% last year, over four times the national average. ** On the other hand, with about the highest business taxes, New Hampshire’s economy grew at 0.9% last year. This is not only half the national average, but less than Vermont, Massachusetts and Rhode Island, all of which have lower business tax burdens.***
As a high business tax state, New Hampshire is losing ground. If we shed that liability, we can have Wyoming’s additional 6.5% growth. In our $70 billion state economy that would be $4.5 billion more business and all the resulting jobs. All we need to do is reduce state government spending and reduce taxes.
Maggie Hassan and New Hampshire Democrats say we can’t afford to reduce taxes. Actually, we can’t afford not to reduced taxes. We can’t afford to throw away $4.5 billion in growth and more each year because of a lack of fiscal discipline in Concord. We need to reduce state spending so we can get the New Hampshire corporate tax rate of 8.5% below Massachusetts’ 8% and even New York’s 7.1% rate. If we do that, businesses, jobs and our young people will be able to return and prosper to New Hampshire. And not just that. More tax revenue that will be more affordable will come in from a larger state economy.
**Wall St. Journal, Oct. 28, 2014, page A18.