Kevin Smith is first gubernatorial candidate to issue plan to rebuild and
strengthen the state’s economy
MANCHESTER – Today, Kevin Smith, Republican candidate for governor, was the first candidate to announce a specific plan to rebuild the state’s economy by reforming the corporate tax structure and incentivizing companies to grow and relocate to New Hampshire.
“The last eight years have seen many obstacles to New Hampshire’s continued prosperity: higher taxes and fees; higher unemployment; higher cost of health care; a growing out-migration of young workers and college students; and a greater intrusion of government in our daily lives and economy. I’m running for Governor to reverse these trends, place New Hampshire on a path toward prosperity, and to put into action a specific plan that will lead to greater job creation.
“Today, I’m issuing the first part of a four-part comprehensive plan to strengthen New Hampshire’s economy, create real and sustained job growth, and to improve the state’s fiscal condition,” said Smith. “New Hampshire can be a leader in the 21st Century economy. By creating a climate that fosters more innovation, investment, productivity, and job growth, and unlocking the free market, our state’s future will be bright, and I believe that New Hampshire’s future is now.”
The first part of Smith’s plan reforms the state’s business taxes, while also improving the efficiency of state government and reducing its costs. Smith said that New Hampshire has one of the highest corporate tax burdens in the country, citing The Tax Foundation’s Corporate Tax Index, which ranks the Granite State an uncompetitive 46th out of 50 states.
“Our business taxes stifle innovation and the necessary investment in new employees, equipment and facilities, creating pressure on existing employers and making our state less attractive to prospective employers looking to relocate their operations. In order to truly grow our economy and bring more, good-paying jobs to the state, we must employ a bold strategy to create an attractive environment for businesses – big and small.”
In his statement, Smith affirmed his stiff opposition to broad-based taxes. “A state sales tax, income tax, or any other broad-based tax, is a job killer, and it will never happen on my watch.” In addition, he proposed several reductions and modifications to the state’s business taxes, including the following actions:
· Reduce the 8.5% Business Profits Tax beginning in 2013 and phase it down to 5% by 2020
· Reduce the Business Enterprise Tax (BET) by two-thirds beginning in 2013 and phase it down from the current 0.75% to 0.25% by 2020
· Increase the revenue threshold for businesses that have to pay the BET to $250,000 from $150,000 by 2014
· Eliminate the BET on small businesses with less than $500,000 in gross revenue and that do not make a profit for the fiscal year
“Not only will this plan create more employment, but it will improve the quality of employment, which will help stop the dramatic trend of young workers and students from leaving New Hampshire for opportunities in other states.”
Smith also highlighted several ways in which he aims to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of state government, as well as to reduce its costs.
“We can lower the tax burden on businesses and residents by keeping government small, focused and efficient. To meet this goal, I will institute a system of metrics across every state department to measure their effectiveness as well as to gauge the taxpayers’ return on investment for specific programs. When I served as the Assistant Director of the state’s Division of Juvenile Justice Services, we employed such a system, and it produced strong results. There is no reason not to replicate this success across state government.”
Smith’s plan includes the following actions:
· Review all Federal mandates with a corresponding cost-benefit analysis of the resources utilized for state and local compliance for each mandate
· Update and implement recommendations by the state's 2003 Commission to Assess the Operating Efficiency of State Government by the year 2014, such as outsourcing of corrections and improving the state’s procurement practices
· Modernize the state's technology infrastructure to better serve citizens and businesses
· Empower state employees to improve efficiency and responsiveness of state agencies and offices, and to cut down on waste, fraud, and redundancies
· Institute a system of metrics across all state departments to measure the efficacy of how taxpayer dollars are spent and to determine the state's return on investment for all state funded programs
· Reorganize state government, combining offices and agencies, eliminating redundant functions, and integrating complementary services
· Control spending growth and continually monitor and measure agency performance to increase efficiency and reduce cost
“As Governor, there will be no bigger priority for me than job creation and improving the state’s economic and fiscal condition. I’m ready to take immediate action and the quality of my experience will allow me to provide the necessary leadership to accomplish these goals.”
Smith noted that his campaign will roll out additional components of the plan over the next several weeks that will address economic development, reducing costs for small businesses and the self-employed, and regulatory reform.
To fully view Part I of Kevin Smith’s “New Hampshire’s Future Is Now” plan, please visit his website at: www.KevinSmithForGovernor.com