New Hampshire’s Small Businesses Can’t Afford Tax Increases of Any Kind

By Natalie Wells

At the last House legislation session, the Republicans rejected a proposal to prevent significant business tax increases that are likely to hit businesses by January 1, 2021.  Last year, the Democrat’s budget contained “triggers” that would increase the Business Profit Tax by 2.6% and the Business Enterprise Tax by 12.5%  if the state revenues fell by at least 6% below official estimates in the Fiscal Year 2020.  It’s been stated that the preliminary state revenue figures to date came close, at 5.4% at the end of June. At this point, it will not trigger this increase, but I’m sure businesses are keeping their fingers crossed.

A quote from Jim Roche, President of the Business and Industry Association said, “If this holds true after the audited figures have been released, every business in New Hampshire will have dodged a bullet.” He went on to say, “With all the struggles businesses are experiencing as they come back from the COVID-19 pandemic, higher taxes are the last thing they need.”

The other “bullet” we missed was due to Governor Sununu’s veto of the bill proposed by Senator Feltes and passed by the Democratic legislatures. This was the Mandatory Family Leave Act. This would have had a horrific impact on the employer and the employee if he/she failed to “opt-out” of this program. This was the Democrats’ way to impose an unwanted income tax (SB-1 – 2019 session).

This is not how Republicans look to help out businesses in New Hampshire. In 2017 and 2018, when I was your state representative, we voted to reduce the Business Profits Taxes from 7.9% to 7.5% and the Business Enterprise Tax from .67% to .5%, which was making our state more competitive to attract and retain jobs and grow our economy. In 2019 and 2020, when the business taxes would have been reduced further, the Democrats put a freeze on this opportunity.

The questions that New Hampshire businesses face right now due to the threat of this “trigger” that was put into the 2019 budget by the Democratic legislature, and the results of the COVID-19 pandemic is, will employers rehire employees that they may have had to temporarily let go, will they hire more people, or do they expand their company? If elected in November, I would be one representative who would fight to eliminate this “trigger” legislation at the earliest possible time when the new Legislature resumes.

As a retired  business owner, I know the present situation not only affects businesses, but the welfare of families. That’s the real trigger effect, and it’s all common sense.  We must elect conservative Republicans to fight and create a balanced budget for New Hampshire after serious expenses due to the  COVID-19 pandemic. The New Hampshire way is to say “No!” to taxes. I ask for your vote on September 8 and November 3. If families must budget to live within their means, so should the State.

Natalie J Wells
Candidate for Merrimack 25