A Crack in the Granite? New Hampshire Moving Ahead on Progressive Tax Changes


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New Hampshire has long been an outlier in state tax policy. It shares the dubious distinction of lacking both an income and a sales tax with only Alaska. Unsurprisingly, it now faces a serious budget deficit. In response, the state's House Ways & Means Committee has chosen a course of action that deviates from the well-worn public policy path in the Granite State, approving a pair of bills that would generate $95 million in revenue over the next two years and do so in a very progressive manner. Specifically, legislation endorsed by the Committee would impose a 5 percent tax on income from capital gains and would revive the state's estate tax, albeit with a larger exemption and lower rate than existed prior to the tax's repeal in 2002. Needless to say, a comprehensive, broad-based income tax should remain the goal in New Hampshire, but these changes would certainly be steps in the right direction.

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