NH Revenues: May 2008 Archives
“Lynch Turns Back on Citizens, Asks for Tax Increases”
For Immediate Release Contact: House Republican Office
May 1,2008 603-271-3665
Today Governor Lynch announced a plan to raise more money for the general fund, but in doing so he ignored a pledge he made just months ago not to raise taxes or impose new fees on the citizens of New Hampshire.
The Lynch plan calls for increasing the tobacco tax by 25 cents, imposing a new tax at a rate of 10% on Texas hold’em winnings, raiding dedicated funds in the amount of $1 million, imposing additional costs on business owners by reducing the discount on alcohol they buy to 10%, and forcing lapses of $2.2 million on Home-Community Based health Care (HCBC) and nursing services programs. This plan would theoretically bring in approximately $45 million for the year, according to Rep. Norm Major (Plaistow), former Ways & Means Chairman. The governor also proposed to bond $40 million of school building aid, which will free up an additional $40 million in general fund revenues.
House Deputy Republican Leader David Hess (Hooksett) stated, “I am frankly disappointed that the governor has not kept his pledge to the citizens of New Hampshire. But I am not surprised.”
“Ronald Reagan famously stated in Washington in the 1980s that ‘we don’t have a revenue problem, we have a spending problem.’ That is exactly the case in New Hampshire in 2008. Rather than looking for reasonable places to reduce the bloated budget passed last year and bring it into line with our rising revenues, the Governor and the Democratic leaders of both the House and Senate want to raise still more taxes and fees. If we had passed a reasonable budget, with an increase in line with the Consumer Price Index (CPI), we would not be where we are now,” added Rep. Hess. “While our projected deficit for this fiscal year is $45 million, revenues are actually up $72 million, or 3.7 percent above last year,” stated Rep. Major, who serves on the Ways and Means committee.
Republican Policy Leader Rep Gene Chandler (Bartlett) said, “This plan is going to hurt more than help our citizens. Reducing the discount for small business owners to 10% for alcohol, threatening our hospitality industry; it is outrageous to think that either consumers will pay more or small business owners make less at a time when our economy is in trouble. These businesses are the backbone of tourism for our state economy; we can not and must not do anything to endanger that. By bonding $40 million in school building aid, we’re mortgaging the future rather than paying our obligations as they come due. We also should have learned our lesson from last year when we increased the tobacco tax and revenues dropped off. Here we go again with an additional tax burden to our citizens; it is irresponsible and not in the best traditions of doing what is right for New Hampshire.”