Tax Relief

New gross sales figures improve the probability of a tax break for NH regardless of threats from the Fed

By Andrew Mahaleris, NH Journal

Governor Chris Sununu and his GOP allies in lawmakers pledged they could make tax breaks part of the new budget, even given the economic ramifications of the COVID-19 pandemic. And the latest figures from the Treasury Department should make it easier for them to keep that promise.

The report released on Monday was the latest data point showing that predictions about the granite state’s economic decline were grossly exaggerated. Not only have revenues not collapsed, the state will also end the financial year with another surplus in June.

In March alone, the state generated revenue of $ 701 million, 3.6 percent more than forecast, and $ 24.6 million more than expected. Nine months into the fiscal year began, New Hampshire is up $ 181.5 million, up 9.6 percent year over year.

Senate President Chuck Morse, a Republican from Salem, called the numbers good news. “These March sales figures show that the New Hampshire economy is picking up again,” Morse told NHJournal. “They show that we can give our state’s small businesses tax breaks, as we proposed, and help lower local property taxes as we promised.”

Greg Moore, New Hampshire state director for Americans for Prosperity, said the new revenue numbers show Granite State is poised for further tax breaks.

“Today’s sales figures show that our state continues to recover strongly from the pandemic,” said Moore. “It also clearly shows that there is a real opportunity to provide more tax breaks that will help all employers continue to recover because while some industries thrived during this period, other industries like restaurants and hotels had huge setbacks and the last one what they did need is a big tax bill. “

The legislature seems to be on the same side. The household bills – House Bills 1 and 2, which will be put to the vote on Wednesday – contain a variety of tax break measures set by the House Finance Committee. Proposals include phasing out the asterisk for New Hampshire’s reputation for “no income tax”: the interest and dividend tax.

Other tax relief measures include lowering corporate taxes and corporate profits, lowering Sununu’s proposed food and rental tax, and a one-time offsetting of US $ 100 million in statewide education property tax.

One possible mistake: President Joe Biden’s $ 1.9 trillion spending plan includes a provision that allows the Treasury Secretary to review states’ tax cut policies. If Secretary Janet Yellen decides that federal dollars helped make these tax cuts possible, she could punish the state in question by demanding the return of COVID-19 aid funds.

In response to this a group of Attorneys General, including New Hampshires, are suing the Biden administration about this provision. Alabama’s Attorney General Steve Marshall called the federal tax mandate an unprecedented and unconstitutional assault on state sovereignty.

State Senator Lou D’Allesandro (D-Manchester) said the numbers for March in New Hampshire are a welcome sight but rejects the argument that today’s economic growth is a signal to those already passed or already imposed Stopping federal spending of more than $ 6 trillion proposed by Congressional Democrats.

“Yes, the numbers in New Hampshire are looking good. Our property transfer tax wasn’t paid in the park,” D’Allesandro told NHJournal. “And deficit spending, as long as it produces the desired outcome, can create a moving economy. Our infrastructure has been dormant for many years.”

On Wednesday the House is expected to vote on its version of the state budget, which, according to Jason Osborne, House majority leader, “contains a treasure trove of tax cuts for NH companies and taxpayers on a scale we have not seen in recent history.”

This story was originally published by the NH Journal, an online news publication dedicated to the fair, unbiased reporting and analysis of political news of interest to New Hampshire. More stories from the NH Journal can be found at NHJournal.com.

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