NHDP - FACT CHECK: Failed CEO Walt Havenstein Resorts to Misleading Radio Ad

Manchester, NH -- As failed CEO Walt Havenstein refuses (for the 56th day) to pay the thousands that he owes Maryland taxpayers, his campaign is desperately trying to change the subject by resorting to a misleading radio ad that distorts reality. In the ad, Havenstein also rehashes his economic “plan,” which simply recycles the same failed Koch Brothers agenda that would pad the profits of multi-national companies and do nothing for New Hampshire small businesses.

"After 56 days, instead of leveling with the public on whether he plans to repay the thousands he owes Maryland taxpayers for improperly claiming tax credits, Walt Havenstein’s campaign has resorted to misleading ads in a desperate attempt to change the subject," said New Hampshire Democratic Party Deputy Communications Director Bryan Lesswing. "But Granite Staters will see Havenstein’s disingenuous ads for what they are: a hopeless ploy to avoid taking responsibility for his Maryland tax cheating scandal.”

Below is a fact check of Havenstein’s misleading claims and anti-middle class agenda.

Claim: “New Hampshire’s economic growth is ranked dead last in New England”

Fact: New Hampshire businesses are creating jobs, our unemployment rate is nearly 2 points below the national average and sixth lowest in the nation (lower than Massachusetts, Maine, Connecticut and Rhode Island). In 2013, per capita real GDP was higher in New Hampshire than in Maine, Rhode Island and Vermont.

  • “Jobs rebounding in Granite State” “It appears that New Hampshire has regained nearly all the jobs it lost in the recession. In fact, in April, there were actually more private-sector jobs here than there were in April of 2008, before the crash. […]The state unemployment rate is 4.4 percent, far below the 6.3 percent national rate. And economic development officials point to a recent surge in interest by businesses looking to locate or expand here.”[Union Leader, May 31, 2014]

  • New Hampshire’s Unemployment Rate is the Sixth Lowest in the Country (and Lower than Massachusetts, Maine, Connecticut and Rhode Island). Vermont (3.7%), New Hampshire (4.4%), Massachusetts (5.6%) Maine (5.5%), Connecticut (6.6%) and Rhode Island (7.7%). [BLS.gov, accessed August 25, 2014]

  • 2013 per capita real GDP was higher in New Hampshire than in Maine, Rhode Island and Vermont. [BEA.gov, accessed August 25, 2014]

Claim: “Under Governor Hassan, New Hampshire now has the 3rd highest business taxes in the nation”

Fact: New Hampshire businesses pay the 12th lowest taxes in the country.

  • A report from the Council on State Taxation (COST) tallied all of the taxes paid by businesses and found that New Hampshire businesses pay the 12th lowest taxes in the country: A 2013 report from the Council on State Taxation (COST) found that “For New Hampshire, that figure was 4.2 percent in FY 2012, markedly lower than the national average of 4.8 percent and less than 38 other states.” [NH FPI, August 6, 2014]

Claim: “New Hampshire has fallen from 14th to 35th in new business startups”

Fact: Through her “Live Free and Start” initiative, Governor Hassan is working to make it easier for entrepreneurs to start up and flourish in New Hampshire.

  • “Governor launches high-tech startup initiative” “’Live Free and Start,’ a new state initiative aimed at helping to make it easier for high-tech businesses to start up and flourish in New Hampshire, was unveiled Monday by Gov. Maggie Hassan other state officials.” [NHBR, June 2, 2014]

Claim: “I have a plan to cut taxes, strengthen the middle class and create 25,000 new, good-paying jobs”

Fact: Havenstein's “plan” also proposes fiscally irresponsible tax giveaways that would undermine critical services in New Hampshire. His “plan” would pad the profits of large mutli-national corporations rather than help New Hampshire’s small businesses. Havenstein has also stated his opposition to Medicaid expansion, which is expected to create hundreds of jobs and inject billions into the state economy, and he opposes increasing the minimum wage, which would give over 75,000 Granite Staters a much-needed raise. 

  • Havenstein’s “Plan” Would Largely Benefit Multi-National Corporations: As a guest on NHPR’s “The Exchange,” Garry Rayno highlighted how Walt’s economic “plan” to lower the Business Profits Tax would largely benefit multi-national companies, while not doing anything for New Hampshire small businesses. [NHDP, August 8, 2014]

  • "Business tax cuts, if not offset by increases in other taxes, will lead to reductions in the public services on which both residents and businesses rely:" Havenstein’s “plan” to drop “the BPT rate from 8.5 percent to 7.4 percent, once fully implemented, would reduce tax revenue by as much as $90 million per biennium […] Helping businesses grow is vital for the future of New Hampshire’s economy, but it’s important to remember that both businesses and residents need safe roads and bridges, high-quality schools, and healthy communities to call home. Cutting business taxes simply impairs New Hampshire’s ability to deliver those vital services.” [NH FPI, August 6, 2014]

  • Moving forward with Medicaid Expansion would bring $2.5 billion into the economy, create 700 jobs, and save the state $92 million. [Lewin Group, Jan 2013]

  • Strengthening New Hampshire's Minimum Wage: “If New Hampshire’s minimum wage were increased to $9.00 per hour, it would improve economic security for nearly 76,000 workers across the Granite State.  The vast majority of those workers – 72 percent – are adults aged 20 or older.  Most – 59 percent – are women and most work at least half-time. Roughly 21,000 children in the state have a mother or father who would experience a pay raise from a higher minimum wage.” [NH FPI, Accessed August 25, 2014]