With the future of the New Hampshire Advantage and our quality of life in the state at stake, State House Republicans today announced plans to hold a public forum to discuss ways to cut state spending and the positive impact any cuts would have on future state budgets.
“We have seen nearly a 25% increase in General Fund spending since Democrats took control of the State House three years ago,” said House Republican Leader, Rep. Sherman Packard (r-Londonderry). “But instead of trying to live within our means and looking for ways to cut spending, Democrats increased or created more than 40 taxes, downshifted millions to our cities and towns, and used $400M in one-time money to cover their spending spree. Now they are holding a summit under the guise of a ‘Revenue Structure Informational’ session when, in reality, their goal is to study and eventually pass an income tax.”
The “Stop the Spending” forum will be held on Tuesday, October 27 from 9:30 am until noon at the Grappone Conference Center in Concord. It will bring together a panel of experts to discuss ways that state government can cut spending and return fiscal sanity to the State House. Included in the group are Steve Norton, Executive Director of the NH Center for Public Policy Studies, whose mission is to raise new ideas and improve policy debates through quality information and analysis on issues shaping New Hampshire’s future.; former Health and Human Services Commissioner John Stephen; and Charlie Arlinghaus, president of the Josiah Bartlett Center for Public Policy, a non-partisan, independent think tank focused on state and local public policy issues that affect the quality of life for New Hampshire's citizens
"The problem with the Democrats' income tax summit is they are not getting to the root of the problem, which is spending. We should be sitting at the table discussing how we can hold the line on spending, not where we can raise taxes. Raising taxes during these difficult economic times is a horrible idea and would balance a bloated budget on the backs of the taxpayers," stated Senate Minority Leader Peter Bragdon (R-Milford)
According to Rep. Norm Major, the Republican Policy Leader for the House Ways & Means committee, New Hampshire continues to lead the way in a number of categories both nationally and here in New England because of the quality of life that we enjoy. “The current tax structure is a diversified portfolio of taxes and fees—that does not include a broad based tax. As a result, when the economy goes into a downturn as we are currently experiencing, the New Hampshire does not witness such a large swing in our revenue stream, as do those states that rely heavily on broad based taxes,” said Major. “We simply don’t have a revenue problem, we have a spending problem and that’s what we should be looking at.”
The program will conclude with Rep. Neal Kurk (r-Weare) and former Speaker Doug Scamman (r-Stratham), both veterans of the House Finance committee, who will discuss the excessive spending in the last two budgets and the impact on the New Hampshire Advantage.
The forum will be open to the public and, unlike the Democrats’ “Income Tax Summit” being convened in Concord this week, the panel will take questions from the general public.