Hassan Says Legislature’s Misplaced Priorities Hurting NH’s Economic Future

State Revenue Report Shows Money That Could Have Supported Higher Education Went to Tax Evaders and Big Tobacco

MANCHESTER – The current legislature’s misguided priorities and radical agenda is hurting New Hampshire’s long-term economic future, said Maggie Hassan, Democratic candidate for governor. 

“We need to once again put people and the long-term health of our economy before big tobacco companies and tax evaders,” said Hassan. “As I travel the state, every business leader I speak with tells me the most important economic development investment we can make as a state is in building an educated workforce. Budgeting is about priorities. This legislature cut funding for higher education in half in order to fund giveaways to big tobacco companies and to tax evaders. Those are the wrong priorities for New Hampshire.”

“As Governor, I will put education before tobacco companies and tax evaders,” said Hassan. “I call on Ovide Lamontagne and Kevin Smith to tell the people of New Hampshire whether they would reverse these cuts to higher education, and these giveaways to tobacco companies and tax evaders.”  

The legislature cut funding for higher education in half in the most recent state budget. But the state’s June revenue report shows that that the majority of those cuts could have been avoided – if the legislature had not given away tens of millions of dollars to tax evaders and big tobacco companies. 

After the cut in the tobacco tax, state tobacco revenues are running $11 million below last year. After the cut to state auditors, audit revenue is down by $20 million. Business taxes are also running $13 million ahead of the GOP plan. Combined, those revenues could go a long way toward restoring funding to higher education and other priority areas.