Concord, NH –Today, Republicans in the state Senate promised to fight the large increases in property and business taxes contained in the Democrats’ budget plan. Specifically, Senate Republicans will introduce budget amendments to roll back $50 million in a local property tax increases by restoring local revenue sharing, repeal $80 million of new business taxes, repeal $40 million in rooms and meals tax increases, and eliminate the $75 million tobacco tax increase.
“At a time when New Hampshire families are struggling to make ends meet and New Hampshire businesses are under pressure to keep people employed, Senate Democrats have proposed a series of drastic tax increases to fund their excessive spending,” said Senate Minority Peter Bragdon (R-Milford), “Democrats need to show they can hold the line on state spending before they try to pick the pockets of New Hampshire citizens and businesses.”
Senate Republicans propose replacing the Democrats’ tax increases with across-the-board reductions in the growth of state spending. “An apples-to-apples comparison of the general fund budget shows an increase of over 7.5% from the prior budget. I’m amazed that Senate Democrats have found a way to continue their big-spending ways at a time when the inflation rate is practically zero.”
Senate Republicans propose rolling back local property taxes by restoring $50 million in cuts to cities and towns made by Democratic budget writers. Revenue sharing funds have flowed to cities and towns for over 40 years, yet the budget proposed by the Democrats eliminates those payments.
“Removing revenue sharing from the budget will force our communities to suffer; the towns and cities will have no choice but to raise local taxes to make up for the difference,” said Senator Jack Barnes (R-Raymond). “Democrats in the Senate should not be balancing the state budget on the backs of property tax payers.”
Republicans will also fight the $80 million tax increase on businesses, caused by the suspension of the Business Enterprise Tax credit, which prevents companies from being taxed twice. The suspension of the credit would have the largest impact on profitable companies with large, well paid workforces.
“This new tax is a penalty on successful businesses,” said Bragdon “In difficult economic times, the last thing the state needs to be doing is discouraging profitable companies from coming to New Hampshire and discouraging those who are here to hire people.”
Rooms and Meals
A proposed 9% increase in the rooms and meals tax (from 8% to 8.75%) has also been targeted.
“This is the time when citizens of our state are cutting back on spending. Raising another tax will only hurt those businesses that need the money the most,” said Senator Jeb Bradley (Wolfeboro-R).
Senate Republicans will also propose eliminating 45 cent increase in the state tobacco tax.
“We have raised the cigarette tax almost every year Governor Lynch has been in the officer,” said Sharon Carson (R-Londonderry). “Now is the time to stop raising taxes and start cutting spending.”