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A check on taxes: A boon to New Hampshire
Wisely, state Senate negotiators last week agreed to the House version of a constitutional amendment to restrain the growth of state government.
The House had sent to the Senate an amendment that would require a three-fifths supermajority vote in the Legislature to pass any tax or fee increase or to create a new tax or fee. Senators kept the supermajority, but changed taxes to spending.
Reasoned Senate President Peter Bragdon, making it harder to raise spending would be a better check on government growth. That made sense to many senators. After all, Gov. Meldrim Thomson did say that low taxes come from low spending. But the House was right.
The New Hampshire Advantage grows from the state’s tax policy. Business owners don’t think much about how much the state spends; they think a lot about how much the state taxes them. Restraining spending without restraining tax growth would not do as much as restraining taxes would to lure more entrepreneurs and out-of-state businesses or to encourage hiring and expansion in businesses that are already here.
The House version of CACR 6 would better protect the New Hampshire Advantage. Legislators should send it to the people for their consideration this fall.
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