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Abrami: NH state budget cuts taxes, funds essential services

After much work by the House, Senate, and governor an extraordinary budget was passed on June 24. 

With revenues at all-time highs in FY2021, this was the year to reduce tax rates. Our business tax revenues have been soaring after a series of business tax rate cuts the last several years aiding in creating a business-friendly environment resulting in more business activity.

Not only have a significant number of good-paying jobs been created through these actions, but these actions have resulted in significant revenue growth amazingly all during the year of COVID. With this formula working, this budget reduces the business profits tax (BPT) rate from 7.7% to 7.6% and the business enterprise tax (BET) rate from .60% to .55%. To help small businesses the gross revenue threshold was raised from $50K to $92K before filing a BPT tax return is required. This means that 30,000 small businesses are now exempt from the BPT.

For families, the meals and rooms tax rate will be reduced from 9.0% to 8.5%. In addition, the 5.0% interest and dividends tax will be reduced by one percent per year over five years until the tax is eliminated. This will especially help those who are retired living off investment income. All of these tax reductions were supported by the House Ways and Means Committee of which I am vice-chair.

As far as relief to property taxpayers, in FY2023, $100.0M will be transferred from the general fund to the education trust fund to pay for a $100.0M reduction in the state-wide education property tax (SWEPT). The amount of SWEPT revenue collected annually from property taxpayers is $363.1M. In FY2023 only $263.1M will be collected from the property taxpayers with the remaining $100.0M made up from the general fund, thus what goes to the schools remains untouched. The impact is that the SWEPT portion of a property taxpayer’s tax rate will be reduced by 27.5%.

Other positives for property taxpayers going forward includes the changing of how meals and rooms taxes are allocated to cities and towns. Statutes state that 40% should be going to municipalities. However, every budget cycle this number is reduced to a much lower percentage. For instance, last budget cycle the percent that went to municipalities was 18%. To permanently increase this amount and to make it more predictable, we created the Meals and Rooms Municipal Revenue Fund in which 30% of meals and rooms tax revenue will be allocated each year. This is a 12% or $50.0M budget increase in allocation to city and towns that will hopefully reduce their property tax rates. Among other things, this budget provides $83.3M in estimated aid to municipalities by fully funding highway block grants at $69.7M over the biennium and appropriating $13.6M in state aid for municipal bridge projects.

As far as education funding this budget corrects the education funding formula to ensure schools are not hurt by the COVID enrollment drop, providing $67.0M in additional aid as well as providing an additional $17.5M in each year for free or reduced cost meals for eligible students. This budget provides full funding of full-time kindergarten and fully funds aid to all public charter schools. In addition, this budget provides $82.0M for school building aid, $67.2M to fully fund special education aid, $18.0M to fully fund career and technical education (CTE) tuition and transportation aid to school districts, and $1.5M for the NH Robotics Education Development program. The NH Community College System and the NH University System are level-funded at $56.0M and $88.5M per year respectively. Of significance is the establishment of Education Freedom Savings Accounts to increase education choice allowing parents to find the right fit for their child regardless of financial means.

As far as health and human services, more will be appropriated than spent the last biennium. The Sununu Youth Center will be closed replaced by community centers dealing with troubled youth locally. This budget appropriates $30.0M for a secure 24-bed secure psychiatric facility to be attached to the New Hampshire Hospital saving millions in operating costs a year. In addition, this budget provides $8.0M that will be allocated for mobile crisis units and community mental health programs, provides an additional $29.1M to our county nursing homes, and fully funds the Developmental Disability waitlist by providing $335.0M in general funds matched by $330.0 in federal funds over the biennium.

There are many other positives from this budget. N.H. has proven time and time again that we can reduce taxes and still fund essential services. We rank the best, or near the best, year after year in all important categories of success as a state. Just last week it was announced that N.H. ranked number two among states for the well-being of its children and number one when it comes to the number of children living above the federal poverty level. I proudly voted yes on this budget.

Leader Osborne Statement on President Biden’s Vaccine Tactics

Concord, NH – Majority Leader Jason Osborne (R-Auburn) released the following statement after President Biden suggested that the Federal Government will go door-to-door instructing unvaccinated individuals to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

“The Biden Administration has made it abundantly clear that they are not shy about intruding on Americans’ right to medical privacy. The President’s call to begin targeting the doors of unvaccinated individuals is yet another reminder that this administration will trample our liberties if left unchecked. The Republican caucus remains committed to continuing our work to strengthen medical freedom and preserve privacy rights in New Hampshire. Granite Staters exercising their right to refuse a medical treatment should not be subject to an intimidation campaign at their doorstep. When the government tries to intrude on our households, it is up to us to slam the door in their face.”

House Majority Leader Reacts to Supreme Court Decision on SB3

Concord, NH – House Majority Leader Jason Osborne (R-Auburn) and Election Law committee chair Rep. Barbara Griffin (R-Goffstown) released the following statement after the Supreme Court decision ruling SB3 unconstitutional: 

Majority Leader Jason Osborne:

“I am extremely disappointed in this ruling on our efforts to ensure integrity and fairness in our elections. New Hampshire consistently has one of the highest voter participation rates in the country and I am fully confident that SB3 would not have changed that. Every election we have several races that are decided by just a handful of votes, so it is imperative that we ensure every ballot cast is by an eligible voter. SB3 was an important piece of legislation seeking to protect our elections and ensure that the right to vote is guaranteed to all eligible voters. Although this decision was not in our favor, we will continue to lead in the fight to ensure the integrity and accessibility of New Hampshire’s elections are protected.”

Election Law Chair Representative Barbara Griffin:
“This decision is disappointing in light of the contrary finding from the Supreme Court of the United States in Brnovich v. DNC that the mere requirement of proving an individual has the constitutional standing to vote in an election is not unduly burdensome. We will analyze the details of this case as we chart our path to ensuring our elections are fair, transparent, and honest.”

House Majority Leader Statement on Supreme Court Case

Concord, NH – House Majority Leader Jason Osborne (R-Auburn) released the following statement after the Supreme Court of the United States rejected hearing New Hampshire v. Massachusetts:


“I am disappointed in the decision today by the Supreme Court allowing Massachusetts to continue extracting their income taxes from New Hampshire residents who do not set foot in their state. After two years of trying to force an income tax on New Hampshire, Democrats can thank Massachusetts for doing their dirty work for them. As if the transformational, pro-growth budget we just passed last week were not enough, Massachusetts gives just one more reason for businesses to move to New Hampshire.”

House Republicans Applaud Signing of State Budget Into Law

Concord, NH: Speaker Sherman Packard (R-Londonderry) and Majority Leader Jason Osborne (R-Auburn) released the following statement after Governor Sununu Signed HB 1 and HB 2 into law:

Speaker Sherman Packard:

“Yesterday, the House of Representatives passed an historic budget that is balanced and fiscally responsible. Today, Governor Sununu signed this transformational budget package into law. Republicans delivered on tax cuts, reduced spending, education freedom, much needed mental health services and more without raising taxes or increasing spending. This is one of the most comprehensive budgets we have seen in years, and it will be the strong foundation needed to help get New Hampshire families and Main Street businesses back on their feet and thriving.” 

Majority Leader Jason Osborne: 

“When the people of New Hampshire put Republicans back in the Majority in 2020 it’s because we promised to cut taxes, reign in the Democrats’ bloated spending, and preserve the New Hampshire Advantage”, said Osborne. “This transformational budget delivered a $170 million total cut from every tax on the books while still funding our state’s needs. We empowered families to find the best fit for their child’s educational needs, passed some needed reform to the governor’s emergency powers, and put an end to teaching the unfounded idea that an individual is inherently racist simply due to the color of their skin. We delivered a $100 million statewide property tax cut, giving our residents direct relief. Our constituents demanded results on these issues, and House Republicans united to make sure we delivered. Granite Staters will be reaping the rewards of this transformational symphony of reforms for years to come and I look forward to building on our success next year.”

House Majority Leader Comments on Passage of Budget Bills

Bedford, NH- NH House Majority Leader Jason Osborne (R-Auburn) released the following statement in response to the passage of HB1 and HB2, the state budget bills.

“With over $170 million in tax cuts across the board, this budget is a major win for every single taxpayer in this state. Every single House member can proudly go back to their constituents and tell them they delivered on their campaign promises. We cut taxes, we reigned in the Democrats’ bloated spending from the last term, we provided property tax relief, we increased education choice, we provided much needed reform to the governor’s emergency powers, and we prohibited the teaching of false ideas that certain individuals are inherently racist due to the color of their skin.” 

“I am extremely proud of the work legislators on the Finance Committee and the Committee of Conference were able to accomplish. It is a high achievement to come out of a pandemic that caused so many to unnecessarily struggle, and craft spending bills that fund all of the state’s critical programs, but also help Granite Staters keep some of their hard earned money in their pocket where it belongs. The budget we passed today will only strengthen New Hampshire’s economy, increase freedoms, and keep New Hampshire on track. I look forward to continuing to build on our significant progress in the next session year.”

House Majority Leader Applauds Committee Vote on SB3

Concord, NH- House Majority Leader Jason Osborne (R-Auburn) released the following statement in response to the House Ways and Means Committee voting 23-0 to pass SB3, clarifying the tax treatment of the Federal Paycheck Protect Program loans.

“I commend the extensive work the Ways and Means committee put into SB3 to ensure this is the best policy for our state to adopt,’ said Rep. Osborne. ‘The fact of the matter is that this money never belonged to New Hampshire to begin with. We should not be in the business of taxing federal relief money meant to keep businesses afloat during a worldwide pandemic. The taxing of this money was forgiven at the federal level, and it is only right that it is also forgiven at the state level. This has been a top priority for the Republican Caucus this year, and we fully support this solution. I am looking forward to the full House vote next week and passing this important piece of legislation on to Governor Sununu.’’”

Republican Leaders Reject Washington Infringement on 2nd Amendment Rights

Concord, NH- House Majority Leader Jason Osborne (R-Auburn) and Chairman of House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee Daryl Abbas (R-Salem) released the following statements after the Criminal Justice Committee passed SB154, prohibiting the state from enforcing a Presidential Executive Order that restricts or regulates the right of the people to keep and bear arms, on a vote of 11-10.

House Majority Leader Jason Osborne:

“After much discussion in Washington over the last few months about Executive Orders that would severely restrict our Second Amendments rights, it is abundantly clear that something has to be done. These potential Executive Orders, or any laws enacted by Congress, would impede New Hampshire citizens’ basic rights to defend themselves.”

“New Hampshire’s firearms laws are clear, and as a result, we are consistently ranked as one of the safest states in the nation. This bill would do nothing to change our current laws, it would simply say that New Hampshire rejects Washington edicts and we will not be enforcing them.”

Chairman Daryl Abbas:

“New Hampshire should not be required to enforce federal laws and executive orders from the President of the United States that restrict the rights to bear arms that are inconsistent with New Hampshire’s laws and traditions.”

“If these out of state federal politicians enact policies infringing on our second amendment rights here in New Hampshire, that is their agenda and they should take responsibility for enforcing their agendas especially when the people of New Hampshire have historically rejected these types of infringements.”

House Leadership Slams Democrats for Opposing Protections for Granite State Taxpayer

Bedford, NH- Deputy Majority Leader Fred Doucette (R-Salem) released the following statement after House Democrats denied Granite Staters the opportunity to vote on two constitutional amendment-concurrent resolutions (CACRs) that would prohibit an income tax and a broad-based sales tax. 

“After two years of House Democrats’ relentless attacks on the New Hampshire advantage, it’s not surprising that they would deny granite staters a direct vote on how much government can reach into their pockets. A commitment to low taxes and small government has long had some bipartisan commitment compared to other states, but it is clear House Democrats have thrown that out the window,” said Doucette. “Today’s vote is a clear indication that they are still open to the idea of turning New Hampshire into a high tax, big government state like California or Massachusetts.” 

“House Democrats like to talk a big game when it comes to protecting Granite State taxpayers. Their actions on the House floor this week showed that to be nothing more than disingenuous political rhetoric.”

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Background: 

Constitutional amendment- concurrent resolutions (CACRs) are required to pass each body in the legislature by 3/5th’s of their membership; then the CACR must be submitted to the voters at the next biennial November election.  The CACR must be approved by two-thirds of the qualified voters present and voting.

CACR 1- relative to taxes. Providing that an income tax on earned personal income shall be prohibited.

CACR 2- relative to taxes. Providing that any broad-based sales tax shall be prohibited.

House Republicans Pleased With Passage of HB575

Bedford, NH – Assistant Majority Leader Stephen Pearson (R-Derry) released the following statement after the House voted 203-160 to pass HB575, relative to licensure of applicants for cosmetology, esthetics, and manicuring through apprenticeship programs. 

“House Republicans have always been leaders in the fight to knock down barriers to employment for Granite Staters. When writing occupational licensing laws, the government must ensure that we are striking the right balance of safety and empowering individuals to pursue the career of their choice. HB575 does that for individuals looking to become a cosmetologist, esthetician, or manicurist. This bill allows individuals getting their certification the convenience and flexibility that an apprenticeship offers; allowing them to work or care for a family while getting their education. House Republicans remain committed to ensuring all Granite Staters looking to join the workforce are not impeded by government regulation.”