Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Taxes in New Hampshire - Tax Summit Meeting

I spent today in Concord at the House Ways & Means "Revenue Structure Informational Session," where I learned lots about New Hampshire's tax structure.

The chart below, presented by Dennis Delay of the New Hampshire Center for Policy Studies, provides a great summary:

I was planning on doing a more complete recap, but Grant Bosse of the Josiah Bartlett Center for Public Policy has been live-blogging the event in  great detail (Disclosure - although the coverage seems neutral, these folks are fiscal conservatives and oppose any new broad based taxes).

IMO, the presentations were jam packed with lots of interesting information.  Although a bit of advocacy did rear its ugly head from time to time, overall things were pretty balanced.   Also noteworthy was that out of the 7 or so economists presenting, only one favored an income tax.  

A few of the panelists suggested that a sales tax would probably be the best way to go if a new revenue source was absolutely necessary.  But only with the caveat that in exchange, business taxes would be reduced.  All the panelists (I think) agreed NH's high business taxes are hurting our economic competitiveness.  Apparently, we rank 50th (worst in country) for business tax climate.  

Finally, nearly all the panelists issued a strong warning to the committee that NH's tax advantage has to remain intact or our economic growth trajectory, which is already under stress, will be impacted.

More to come tomorrow...

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