There’s been a lot of misinformation about the recently passed state budget. The truth is, it’s remarkable and worth celebrating. Here are some of the things the new budget delivers: over $170 million in tax cuts, reduction in Business Profits Tax to 7.6%, reduction in Business Enterprise Tax to 0.55%, phase-out of Interest and Dividends tax over the next five years, more money to the “Rainy Day Fund,” reduction in Meals and Rooms Rate to 8.5% and reduction in property taxes by $100 million.
When the people of New Hampshire sent Republicans to Concord, they did so with the orders to avoid Democrat spending and taxing sprees. The last time the Democrats had total control of the State House (2007-2010), they raised or created over 100 taxes and fees. This new budget not only delivers on the promise not to overspend, but also provides a strong foundation to help New Hampshire grow.
This budget’s tax cuts benefit New Hampshire families, businesses and consumers and will make us the only truly “income tax free” state in the country. New Hampshire families spoke loudly about the need for property tax reduction. We listened and reduced property taxes by lowering the amount of Statewide Education Property Tax (SWEPT) taxes that each town must collect.
But instead of having the loss of such revenue impact schools, the state will later provide funds from other means to pay the difference. Then in the fall when property tax rates are set, municipalities will see lower tax rates. Why this convoluted method? GOP legislators believe that if we give towns or school districts dollars before tax rates are set then the money gets spent on other things instead of going back to taxpayers. This methodology guarantees a reduction in property taxes. Promise kept.
Every budget includes non-budgetary measures. Here are some of the great non-fiscal items incorporated into this budget: protection for the unborn (prohibits late term abortions in the 7th, 8th and 9th month), Education Freedom Savings Accounts for poorer families, $8 million for mobile crisis units and community health programs, $30 million for a 24-bed secure psychiatric facility, better funding for veterans services and programs, increased funding for multiple infrastructure programs and wastewater projects, and more protections for youngsters to include $500,000 for Internet Crimes Against Children Fund.
House Republicans were able to support these New Hampshire priorities due to compromise, hard bargaining, good communication and real leadership from both the legislative and executive branches.
New Hampshire is the region’s most prosperous and liveable state with the country’s lowest unemployment rate. It’s no coincidence that New Hampshire is also the northeast’s most Republican state as well.
There is so much to be celebrated in this budget, but the proof of its efficacy will be in the proverbial political pudding. Republicans made promises to the voters, and Republicans delivered.