Despite a school funding debate that is now a decade old, New Hampshire remains one of just two states in the nation that lacks both a sales tax and a broad-based income tax, instead relying principally on property taxes to support vital services. (The other state in that pairing, Alaska, can at least rely on revenues generated from its energy resources.
This absence of alternatives to the property tax is perpetuated by the so-called "pledge", a vow to oppose income and sales taxes to which numerous candidates for public office in the Granite State have committed themselves. In the weeks ahead, though, many New Hampshire voters will have an opportunity to instruct local officials to forego such misplaced promises. Due to the efforts of the Granite State Fair Tax Coalition, residents of 88 of New Hampshire's 221 cities and towns will have a chance at upcoming town meetings to approve resolutions calling on legislators to reject the "pledge" and to keep an open mind about all revenue raising options.
Conservative critics say that the resolutions are a veiled attempt to impose an income tax, while others maintain that a more direct approach would yield more tangible results. Still, it's hard to argue against something that simply suggests doing what anyone would do when confronting a major problem... keeping all of one's options open.
Click here to learn more about the Granite State Fair Tax Coalition.
While the coalition isn't advocating an income tax, some state lawmakers are discussing far-reaching tax reforms that would lead to a fairer and more sustainable tax system in the Granite State. Rep. Jessie Osborne explains her approach to a "tax swap" here.