To the Editor:
The new two-year budget just voted on by the state legislature has many features to it.
In this article, I want to focus on just one of them: tax cuts for all New Hampshire Residents.
1. Meals and Rooms Taxes are lowered from 9% to 8.5%. Have you ever wondered, when you drive down Route 125 into Massachusetts, why the stores are in New Hampshire but the restaurants are mostly in Massachusetts? It's simple. We have no sales tax so people come here to shop, but our meals tax was 9% as opposed to 6.25% in Massachusetts. So much is lost to the state to the south of us because of this disparity! And how much more does it cost you when you go out to eat if you stay here in New Hampshire?
2. The Interest and Dividends Tax is being fully phased out over the next few years. Some people automatically assume that it's only the rich that will benefit from this tax elimination, but that's not so. So many of my constituents have told me they, hard-working men and women, have "a little something tucked away" in safe stocks or in a retirement account or both, and how that annual tax on their nest egg hurts, now that they've gotten older.
3. The State-Wide Education Property Tax was lowered by $100 million to be used specifically to lower local property taxes. If your town does not lower its overall property tax bills it is playing a game with its residents. The political majority in Concord wants your (and my) taxes to go down and structured this part of the bill accordingly. Make sure your town honors what we've done for you.
4. The Business Enterprise Tax rate was lowered to 0.55% and the Business Profits Tax rate was lowered to 7.6%. While cynics say this is a boon to large, out-of-state corporations, the vast majority of businesses in this state are "Mom and Pop" shops or the creations of local entrepreneurs who have a workforce of under twenty. COVID hit many of these small businesses hard and rather than pocket the savings from this tax cut, most small business owners will be investing it in their pride and joy - their little businesses -- with more up-to-date equipment and additional hires.
The budget is passed via two bills. HB 1 is simply numbers. HB 2 is the authorization to spend those numbers, so it's HB 2 that is really the one to watch. HB 2, the authorization bill passed 198-181 with no Democrat in the House or Senate voting for it, and only 9 House Republicans voting against it. We, Republicans, want to continue to honor the hard-working New Hampshire citizens by being fiscally responsible to the people who elect us.
Rep. Mark Pearson, R-Hampstead
(Represents Atkinson, Hampstead, Kingston and Plaistow in the "Floterial" (at-large) Rockingham County District 34)