To The Daily Sun,
I included the pieces from the Telegraph of Nashua and the Concord Monitor in a letter I sent to state Sen. Jeannie Forester.
In its Thursday editorial, The Telegraph called out the H.H. Senate for giving businesses a tax break while allowing health care coverage for low income Granite Staters to sunset. One key passage:
"If cutting business taxes is such an all-fired good idea, perhaps lawmakers would like to trade even deeper business tax cuts for an income or sales tax? Of course they wouldn't, because that would upset the state's grand bargain. The heavy reliance on business taxes is a price we pay for not taxing the incomes of business CEOs and their employees. It's also the price to be paid for not taxing retail sales."
Rep. Len DiSesa, in an op-ed in the Concord Monitor, asked how is this budget good for New Hampshire?. DiSesa pointed out that tax cuts such as this haven't worked out so well lately in other states:
"Kansas Republican Gov. Sam Brownback tried that idea three years ago to disastrous effect. He is now in the process of having to raise taxes to try to dig out from the huge financial hole — to the tune of more than $400 million (that's a fact!) — in which he has put his state. Yet the Republican Party continues to hold on to this financial pipedream, when all it is really doing is supporting corporate welfare at the expense of the citizens of this state. Do they believe that is why they were elected?"
Senator, in the past I shared with you an idea to streamline and equalize the tax base here in New Hampshire. This coupled with the comments by Len DiSesa could be the way we can finance the needs of this state. That was to reduce property taxes (which are not equal), reduce business taxes (which you seem to support) and replace these with a stable income of income taxes and sales taxes on non-essential items (i.e.: soda, liquor, stereo equipment, etc.) The sales tax proposal was a uniform tax that would enhance the hotel, overnight lodging and camping, as well
as restaurant industries by leveling such a sales tax to one amount, i.e.: 4 percent for everything, not 9 percent for this industry, etc. This would be competitive with neighboring states and...may actually increase the tourist trade here in New Hampshire. The reduction of business taxes to be replaced by income tax would also result in increased opportunities for businesses to relocate to New Hampshire creating more jobs, more monies for income to support the needs the citizens demand of our government.
To satisfy some of the anti-tax opponents, perhaps we could even consider a cap on such taxes with a clause to change as needed one type of thing to cover emergencies. Such a clause would also have a permanent part to it, that such a cap be reverted back within a year.
Remember too, Mark Twain once said, "Support your country, and your government (if it deserves it)."
What is really needed Jeanie, is a new task force whose mission is to:
A. Develop the needs and services citizens of this state want and need.
B. Develop an equitable financing program to support these needs.
Part B is critical given the disparity of income levels in this state. Everyone needs to pay their fair share as they are able. This would be a true step to redefining our government and its mission. I would offer to be appointed on such a committee.
Currently we are on a path of financial catastrophe. It is not too late to rebuild and reinvest in our state. The "No Tax Pledge" is obsolete. We simply can no longer restrict our financing options. Already, it has cost us more in the current trends of government services due to the burying of heads in the sands on these issues. Investment by the state is critical to the survival of our citizens' health, safety, welfare and our economy.
Lastly, thank you for your comments that appear to support the citizens who work for this state. No doubt, these are among New Hampshire's finest. Police, state troopers, EMS and fire personnel, DHHS and Mental Health staff, the Highway Department, the prison staffs, etc. All of these members deserve a significant raise for these past years of no raises.
Robert T. Joseph, Jr.