Letter: Casinos are part of ‘N.H. Advantage’ shell game
New Hampshire has one of the lowest per capita tax burdens in the country along with one of the highest per capita incomes. Why do we feel so overburdened by taxes? Could it be our reliance upon the local property tax which comes in the form of a bill? This does keep New Hampshire state government slim but also perpetually seeking new ways to downshift costs onto municipalities, residents and property owners.
The Legislature perpetually seeks “enhanced revenue” without dealing with the elephant in the room, the basic unfairness of our tax structure. Taxpayers fear even greater spending and higher taxes more than they desire property tax relief. Politicians exploit this fear by touting the “New Hampshire Advantage” which in reality works in favor of those with the greatest wealth and burdens those least able to pay.
Gov. Maggie Hassan’s embrace of casinos is the latest gambit in the New Hampshire Advantage shell game. Asked if we want someone else (tourists, smokers, gamblers) to pay our state bills for us, the chorus predictably says “yes.”
Why has every attorney general and Legislature rejected the Trojan Horse of casino gambling for the past 30 years? They see through the promises of vast sums of licensing and slots revenue. New revenue will not come from out-of-staters but from ourselves at the expense of small businesses through lost customers, companies through lost productivity and all of us through the loss of a family-friendly environment.
Slots and casino bills actually include money for those harmed by this revenue. Why would we knowingly harm thousands of individuals, their families and employers, with the burden of addiction? Tell you representatives, “Just say no to casinos.”