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No Sales Tax, No Income Tax: NH Cornerstone or Millstone?

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 By Kevin Clay/Jamie Folsom, Contact
March 8, 2007


A series of forums around New Hampshire are asking lawmakers to re-examine "The Pledge;" their promise to oppose new sales or income taxes. The New Hampshire Council of Churches and the Granite State Fair Tax Coalition say the commitment politicians made to hold the line on taxes has led to an over-reliance on property taxes, creating a hardship for disadvantaged people.

Paul Henle, executive director of the Fair Tax Coalition, says the positive connotation of calling something "The Pledge" hides the harm it causes.

"The property tax is unfair and lawmakers do not address that fact. Property taxes hit lower-income people much harder than higher-income people."

The richest 20 percent of residents pay about $.05 in taxes for every $1 they earn. The poorest 20 percent pay $.08 for every $1.

David Lamarre-Vincent, executive director of the New Hampshire Council of Churches, says "The Pledge" is a "ticking time bomb" for the state's economy.

"It's actually driving business out of state, preventing young people from becoming established in the state, and it's cutting us off from entrepreneurs who are going to grow the state."

The campaign aims to make a change in time for the 2008 election. Lawmakers are considering a property tax rebate for homeowners over age 65.

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