Property Tax, Income Tax or Both
EDITORIAL by Ivan Beliveau
There has been a big push in NH to establish a state income tax. The alleged motivation for this is to provide some relief for the local property tax. The people concerned about a state income tax feel that this will only be an additional tax and will not provide any relief for struggling taxpayers. How this debate and legislation plays out will have a big impact on NH growth for a long time.
The proponents of a new state income tax feel the additional revenues are needed in NH to continue to fund and expand the existing state and local government programs of various types.
The proponents of keeping an income tax out of NH feel that budgets and excess spending are high enough already and need to be more in line with reasonable, existing revenue projections.
The proponents of a state income tax must feel that someone else in NH will be able to somehow transfer (down-shift) funds to the local communities to save local property taxpayers.
The usual targets for an income tax are the so-called rich. Will an income tax be just for the rich?
The proponents of no income tax point out that NH had the highest business taxes in the USA, high property taxes, impact fees as well as a de-facto automotive sales tax (big registration fees.)
The usual concern of taxpayers is that unless the property tax is somehow permanently capped, then inevitably an income tax will just become an additional financial burden on all homeowners.
The battle lines are drawn. The rhetoric is heating up with lots of ads from both sides.
It is also getting very personal. The NH Democratic Party, in a communication on Oct. 5th, said the following: “In 32 days, New Hampshire voters have a chance to once and for all say goodbye to Speaker Bill O'Brien and the radical, Tea Party legislature which has done so much harm to our state over the past two years.” Has the state really been harmed in the last 2 years? Really?
Is it really so radical to balance a state budget and raise the national business favorability rating for NH from 50th (the lowest in the nation) to 46th (a modest improvement that must continue.)
On Oct, 5th, Granite State Priorities, a state advocacy group, sent the following communication: “If you've got us in your Facebook feed*, you know there have been some big changes in the landscape recently that promise to shock the vote on the Constitutional amendment to permanently ban income taxes in NH.” They are really pushing hard for an income tax.
Maybe what this is all about is just an effort to continue to grow the size of government.
Their underlying belief is that big government (the nanny state) is the answer to all the problems.
Opposing this opinion is the viewpoint that unchecked big government is the problem.
The underlying belief is that local parents and voters know what is best for their own community.
Unchecked big business can potentially be a big problem as can be unchecked big government.
Either NH is about “Live Free or Die” or it isn’t. Tell the power grabbers to butt out, it is our state!