Letter: Leading from behind
It is undeniable that New Hampshire has a revenue problem. Count me among those who believe an income tax is the best solution. That said, it appears the Haves are effectively convincing the Have-nots that we should look elsewhere.
Gov. Maggie Hassan seems to believe casinos will be our golden goose whose eggs will include jobs and tax revenue. If that revenue is all from New Hampshire residents, then why is gambling better than an income tax? The problem is that there are already casinos in Maine, New York, Connecticut, Delaware, Rhode Island and soon in Massachusetts, so why would anyone come here to gamble? We are way behind on this issue.
Colorado and Washington state have legalized and taxed marijuana. Colorado reports that in January it took in a whopping $2.1 million from recreational marijuana sales. Yes, that’s million. Yes, that’s one month. While much of that tax revenue is no doubt coming from Colorado residents, a large portion is likely coming from people who don’t live in Colorado and travel there to purchase what cannot be legally purchased in their home states. While our neighboring states have decriminalized marijuana, they have not yet accepted the inevitable by regulating and taxing it.
Here in New Hampshire there is already a bill (House Bill 492) to legalize, regulate and tax the sale of marijuana that will be up for a vote March 27. Seems to me we have a chance to be leaders instead of followers.