New Hampshire: GOP Lawmakers Respond to Budget Gap with Tax Cuts


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New Hampshire lawmakers reconvened this week in Concord and one of the top orders of business is closing a budget gap of hundreds of millions of dollars.

The New Hampshire Fiscal Policy Institute (NHFPI) suggests that the magnitude of the state’s fiscal challenges presents lawmakers an opportunity to examine and propose changes to the state’s tax system rather than simply slashing public services.  The group recently released a report that examines the state’s current tax structure and puts forth considerations for improvement.  The report finds two major shortcomings of New Hampshire’s current tax system: the responsibility for paying taxes falls disproportionately on low- and moderate-income households and the tax system does not generate an adequate amount of revenue to pay for the state’s essential public services.
 
Unfortunately, it appears that the GOP-controlled state legislature is poised to propose several tax cuts this year heavily tilted towards businesses and wealthy households that will only serve to make the system even more unfair and inadequate.

Using information from the NHFPI report, including Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy data, an editorial in the Concord Monitor argued against any proposal to cut taxes in a time of fiscal crisis, especially when the result would mean more cuts to core services and higher taxes on low-income households.
 
Moving forward, New Hampshire lawmakers should use the NHFPI report as a tool in determining meaningful policy responses to their state’s fiscal woes.

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