This is an e-mail that I sent.
To date there has been no response.
April 27, 2014
Dear Mr. Blechl:
The reason for this e-mail is to request information about your article, "Littleton Rep. Proposes Tax Free Zone to recruit new business." Specifically, I'm questioning whether your reporting was accurate and truthful.
From your article, "to recruit new business to the Littleton area and to help jump-start an economic recovery that has eluded much of the North Country, a state Representative is proposing a tax-free zone."
As you may know the N.H. State Constitution under Part 2- Form of Government Article 5 states "the general court shall not authorize any town to give loans to credit indirectly or indirectly for the benefit of a corporation." "The general court may provide for special assessments, rates and taxes on growing wood and timber." The N.H. State Constitution does not allow for the use of tax abatements and "tax free zones used to recruit new business." Part 2-Article 5 is good law in New Hampshire and has been upheld in the State Supreme Court with case law numerous times.
This is my first question: why are you reporting on this without mentioning what the relative state law is with respect to creating "tax-free zones." ?
My second question and concern are about your statements about Start-Up New York. I've only done preliminary research of this program and it's use on or near the Port of Albany, New York. It seems to me to be a program that is surrounded by politics, preference and bridge financing. I'd also question whether any jobs have actually been created because of these type of tax incentives?
I'm a former legislator from Bethlehem, NH. During my two terms in the NH House of Representatives 1994-1998; I was very interested in regional tax base expansion and creating quality jobs. I carefully studied the then proposed Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ) for Lewiston-Auburn, Maine an area that is somewhat similar to northern New Hampshire. The L-A FTZ project did move forward and was anchored by a substantial intermodal rail terminal with overhead trans-load and destination capability via truck, rail and sea to global based markets. Since the FTZ was created-- including various tax incentive programs there has been development and jobs created in this area of Maine including a state of the art Walmart Distribution Center that employs some 350 individuals. However, I think the facts and statistics now show in 2014 that despite a massive taxpayer financed endeavor ($310 Million) into the Lewiston-Auburn FTZ there hasn't been nearly the growth or jobs that was expected to come into this area of Maine.
So I'd question why your reporting on an idea of creating a tax free zone here in New Hampshire when there is evidence out there that suggests its a difficult proposition.
Steven J. Connolly