This is very much of a idea in progress. But it's a letter I'm thinking about sending my local state representatives about this proposed legislation:
I'm writing to you to express my concern about the impacts to New Hampshire if Senate Bill 20 is passed into law.
As you may know Sen. Jeff Woodburn has introduced Senate Bill 30; legislation that is primarily designed to restructure the Business Development Authority (BFA) to allow this state agency to increase it's state loan guarantee ceiling to as much as $25 million dollars. The specific reason(s) for this are to create a way for the Balsam's Resort Hotel in Dixville Notch, NH to gain financing so that the now closed hotel can re-open as a full scale resort area.
The intent of this legislation is a mistake for several reason(s). The first is debt. As you unboundedly know, New Hampshire is currently experiencing a substantial budget deficit which is causing essential programs in numerous areas to be reduced and/or eliminated. I'd question any proposal for New Hampshire to grant a loan guarantee that exposes the state to a loan of this size that would have to be paid in the event of a default. Especially, for a non-essential project like a resort. The second reason is risk. I think facts demonstrate that the Balsam's hotel hasn't turned a profit since 1962 and with mounting financial losses the hotel was finally closed in 2010. I'd question whether it is the role for the State of New Hampshire to support a risky project like this. The last point is precedence. If Senate Bill 20 is passed and this project is granted, would it not open the door for other risky state loan guarantees like this one, including the possibility that the state might find itself in the resort ownership business including it's substantial loan payments to a privately held bank. I don't see anywhere in the state constitution where it states that state government exists to manage the risk borne by private for profit corporations.
It is for these reasons that I request that you oppose Senate Bill 30.