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Entries in Legislation (161)

Wednesday
Jul222015

NH Sen Boutin bill to protect leases from real estate tax signed into law 

Concord, NH - A year-long effort by Senator David Boutin (R-Hooksett) to protect New Hampshire businesses from unauthorized taxes recently succeeded. Boutin sponsored SB 232 to protect leases from the Real Estate Transfer Tax, which the Department of Revenue Administration started applying to commercial ground leases without legislative approval.

 

“The Real Estate Transfer Tax applies to the sale of real property, and was never meant to apply to leases shorter than 99 years,” Boutin said. “This law clarifies the long-standing intent of the Legislature, and reverses the ill-conceived attempt by the DRA to rewrite New Hampshire’s tax code.

 

DRA Commissioner John Beardmore last summer sought a change in Administrative Rules to allow collection of taxes on commercial ground leases, even though the tax had never been applied that way. Faced with opposition from Sen. Boutin and other members of the Legislature, Beardmore withdrew the request and instead claimed that he already had authorization to levy the tax on leases. Boutin has been working since last summer to clarify the law, and protect New Hampshire businesses from a tax that was never approved by the Legislature.

 

SB 232 was approved 23-0 by the Senate and sailed through the House on a voice vote before Governor Hassan signed it into law last week.

 

“This unauthorized tax in commercial leases would have added a drag on our economic recovery, and undermined confidence in the stability and fairness of New Hampshire’s tax code,” Boutin added. “Passing this taxpayer protection into law reassures our business owners that they will not find any surprises in their tax bill.”

 

CHAPTER 255 - SB 232-FN-A – FINAL VERSION

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Saturday
Jul112015

NH Sen Bradley praises support of workers’ comp reform 

CONCORD, NH – A critical bill aimed at reducing the cost of workers’ compensation was signed into law this week.

 

Senate Majority Leader Jeb Bradley (R-Wolfeboro), prime sponsor of the bill, released the following statement on SB 133 becoming law.

 

“New Hampshire businesses are burdened by high energy costs, high business taxes and high workers’ compensation costs which have continued to stifle job and economic growth in our state.  This legislation, SB 133, is the first workers compensation reform measure that has passed in years, and takes a significant step towards reforming and reducing the high cost of workers’ comp borne by our state’s small business owners,” said Senate Majority Leader Jeb Bradley (R-Wolfeboro).

 

“We need to keep working to address the high cost of doing business in New Hampshire by reducing business taxes, health care costs, and energy costs as part of a multi-faceted approach to restoring business competitiveness.”

 

Chapter 210: SB 133-FN—Final Version

 

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Saturday
Jun272015

NH House - Chapter Bills update 

 

Attached is an updated list of chapter bills.

 

Saturday
Jun272015

US Rep Guinta fighting to preserve Granite State land, water and heritage 

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WASHINGTON. D.C. – This week, Congressman Frank Guinta (NH-01) introduced an amendment to the Department of Interior Appropriations package to increase funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund by $16 million for essential outdoor programs.

“As Granite Staters know, we are blessed to call one of the most pristine ecological environments in our nation ‘home.’  From the Seacoast region to the White Mountain National Forest to Lake Winnipesauke – outdoor recreation and programs are vital to our economy supporting $4.2 billion in consumer spending, nearly 50,000 Granite State jobs and $293 million annually in state and local revenue.  We must continue to fight on behalf of the Land, Water and Conservation Fund to strengthen vital programs which preserve our beautiful state.”

 

To view Congressman Guinta’s floor speech in support of the Land and Water Conservation Fund, please click here.

Monday
Jun152015

NH Center For Innovative Schools - Fate of NH charters to be decided this week 

June 14, 2015
In this issue

Over the next week the New Hampshire state legislature will quite literally decide the fate of New Hampshire's public charter school program. New Hampshire charter schools are currently the lowest funded charters in the nation receiving about $5,500 per pupil. After six years of flat funding these schools are at risk and an update to the funding formula must occur this session. If action is not taken we risk damaging these high-quality public schools and tumbling toward a "race to the bottom" as families seek opportunity in other states.

Original Intent of HB563

According to HB563's prime sponsor Representative Ken Weyler, the original intent of HB563 was to link per pupil funding to 50% of the state average cost per pupil. This would provide a natural increase in per pupil funding as costs rise. HB563 was changed in committee however and as amended would provide a modest $36 dollar per pupil increase in year one (this is not a typo) and a $1,036 increase per pupil in year two. Per pupil funding would remain relatively static after year two. (Readers should note that HB563 received bipartisan in the House including almost all House republicans and over two dozen democrats).

 

The Senate initially voted to support HB563 (no senate democrats voted in favor of HB563) however the Senate then voted to table the bill and address charter funding in the budget. See section below, "House VS Senate Budget". 

House VS Senate Budget
Although the Senate budget appears to spend about $100 million more than the House, it cuts $3 million from the charter school line item. It does this by reducing the increase in per pupil aid passed in the House budget by 75% to $250.
 

To help illustrate the critical need to address funding this session I would point out that even State Board of Education member Bill Duncan testified in support of a $1,000 per pupil increase in February.