In Case You Missed It: Lamontagne Follows Smith’s Lead

Kevin Smith has made a significant impact on the governor’s race by being the most substantive candidate running and aggressively pushing his New Hamsphire’s Future Is Now plan to rebuild the state’s economy. Now that the race is heating up, Smith’s primary opponent, Ovide Lamontagne, is playing catch-up and resorting to “copy cat politics.” 

According to the Nashua Telegraph:

One thing political front-runners always get to do is steal the ideas of their opponents. We saw that in full force last week from GOP candidate Ovide Lamontagne, who proposed business tax reform that included cutting the state’s two main taxes on business. More than a month ago, primary rival Kevin Smith had proposed the very same thing. Likewise, several months, back Smith said if elected, he would impose a moratorium on all new rules affecting business. Lamontagne echoed that call…” (Nashua Telegraph, June 17, 2012

Indeed, on March 20th of this year, Kevin Smith released the Part One of his NH's Future is Nowplan, which outlined his proposals to reduce both the Business Profits Tax and the Business Enterprise Tax over seven years, as well as broaden the exemption for companies having to pay the BET. Smith is the first candidate to propose a comprehensive plan to rebuild and strengthen the state’s economy.

Kevin Smith called for reducing the Business Profits Tax:

“Smith’s plan calls for a gradual reduction in the state’s Business Profits Tax from 8.5% to 5% by 2020. According to the Tax Foundation, New Hampshire has one of the highest corporate tax rates in the country.” (New Hampshire Journal, March 21, 2012

Several months later, Lamontagne offered to reform the BPT:

“[Lamontagne] calls for cutting the Business Profits Tax (BPT) rate from 8.5 percent to 8 percent over two years.” (New Hampshire Union Leader, June 15

Kevin Smith called for reforming the Business Enterprise Tax:

“[Smith] said one of the biggest issues facing the state is the corporate tax rate, which he would like to lower from 0.75 percent to 0.25 percent by 2020. ‘We tax businesses right now that don’t even make a profit,” Smith said. “We want to create a favorable environment for businesses.’” (Hampton Union, April 10, 2012

“Smith said he's pushing a comprehensive plan to help businesses, which would eliminate business enterprise taxes for companies that don't turn a profit.” (Foster’s Daily Democrat, February 24, 2012

Several months later, Lamontagne proposes reforming the BET:

“[Lamontagne] proposes a new Business Enterprise Tax (BET) credit that would be based on compensation paid to new full-time employees in new production or manufacturing jobs as a way to encourage such employers to hire new workers.” (New Hampshire Union Leader, June 15

“Lamontagne's Republican primary foe, Kevin Smith, has already released part of his economic plan, which also includes a BPT cut and BET reform.” (New Hampshire Union Leader, June 15, 2012

Kevin Smith called for eliminating burdensome regulations on businesses:

“[Smith] said if elected he plans to reduce business ‘red tape’ as well as enact policies that lessen corporate taxes. He said this will allow large New Hampshire manufacturers to do more business in the state, which he said would bring more businesses in as well as make it easier for residents to start their own businesses.” (Hampton-North Hampton Patch, April 11, 2012

“One of the areas of government Smith said he would reform if elected would be the regulations placed on small businesses…‘We want to be known as a business-friendly state with a business-friendly atmosphere,’ said Smith. He said, if elected, he would immediately implement at least half of the revisions proposed by a legislative committee that is currently studying regulations on small businesses.” (Foster’s Daily Democrat, April 29, 2012

Several months later, Lamontagne suggests he would do the same…sort of:

“Likewise, several months, back Smith said if elected, he would impose a moratorium on all new rules affecting business. Lamontagne echoed that call and raised it, promising to have performed a cost-benefit analysis of all business-related rules.” (Nashua Telegraph, June 17, 2012

Kevin Smith called for stopping the out-migration of young workers:

“’We are losing a lot of young people,” said Smith. “We are losing our pool of skilled labor for businesses to pull from…’ The Republican candidate claimed that his state has no long-range plan for building its economy and is pushing too many taxes and regulations on businesses. As governor, he would lower the state’s business profits tax and business enterprise tax in order to help grow business. ‘We need to send a message to small businesses in this state that we are serious about creating an environment to let them grow,’ he said.” (Amherst Patch, February 4, 2012

“Smith said the growth in jobs would help the state keep its young people from leaving to find employment outside New Hampshire. He said he understood the exodus of young people is a particular concern for the North Country…He called for business and colleges to work together to create tracks that will enable students to move directly into jobs…An educated workforce and keeping young people here is vital to the state’s economic success, he said.” (Berlin Daily Sun, March 22, 2012

Several months later, Lamontagne decides to talk about young workers:

“’It is imperative that we do more to stop the talent drain in New Hampshire, and work to create opportunities for our youth,’ the Lamontagne plan says.” (New Hampshire Union Leader, June 15