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Letter: A fairer tax plan

Re “What’s our tax plan? So glad you’ve asked!” (Monitor editorial, Aug.9):

Readers of the Monitor might be relieved that your editorial board is not alone in advocating a state income tax. There are those of us residents of New Hampshire with income that actually prefer to be straightforward and stop funding state services with nickel and dime nuisance fees and camouflaged taxes. Let’s be up-front that state services cost so much, and here is your share of the bill.

In actuality many of us Granite Staters are already paying an income tax, but it is labeled a tax on “just” interest and dividends. For retirees, however, interest and dividends make up a significant portion of total income. Thus continues New Hampshire’s tax structure that, along with the statewide property tax, falls disproportionately on those less able to have the wherewithal to ante up for government services.

Yes, our current governor, like so many before her took, the “Pledge.” Adhering to the Pledge installs a substantial handicap in doing things right. With the forecasted revenue from casino gambling now unlikely to happen, I’d say that the governor has a valid reason to abandon the Pledge and agree to sign an income tax into law.

While I am for a state income tax, I am against it adding to the cost of compliance. The New Hampshire tax return should be no more than one line: “Our federal income tax shown on line 61 of our IRS Form 1040 is $__ thousand; 2 percent of that is $__ hundred, which is enclosed.”

Onward to fix all the bridges!

BOB LONGABAUGH

Alton Bay

I thought that the stimulus was passed to "fix all bridges"? How did that work out for ya? And we should trust anyone in government making that promise for taking more money out of our wallets?

I don't think an income tax is the best approach. I think perhaps a general sales tax on non-essential items. Food, clothing, medication, and non-luxury vehicles, etc should be exempt. Taxing on what you make isn't overly effective when you have folks working under the table. Tax it when you spend it. This is more fair to those who have less. If you can afford $30k for a boat, you can afford a 5% tax added to it. If you can afford a Humvee, with it's atrocious gas mileage, you can afford a tax on it. This way, Mom and Pop, or the young family barely getting by can keep more money in their pockets, and not have the guv'ment take their share before it lands in their bank account.

Who decides what is a non luxury vehicle jvalley? Basically you are saying that 30k boat should be taxed, does that mean that a 5K boat should be taxed also? If you exempt food, clothing. medication etc, what then do you tax? .

Seeing how a boat isn't typically necessary for survival of most people, even a 5k boat would be taxable. There are plenty of other things to tax, such as home furnishing, appliances, tools, lawn equipment, pet food, etc. before you go nitpicking away at this, the other new England states that do have a sales tax follows this scheme. Before the 'harmonized' taxes came into play, Vermont had it so that a piece of clothing more than $150.00 was taxable. In florida, 'luxury' foods are taxable, things such as soda, snack foods, etc, regular nutritious foods such as meats, fish, eggs, cereals, etc are non taxed. What is a "luxury" vehicle? there is already a law on the books for that. don't need to address that with you. It might not be palatable, but if you swap out or reduce a property tax, you are making it more fair, more equitable. The poor don't pay as much, the rich pay a fair share based on spending what they can and do spend it on. You keep more money in your pocket until you spend it on non-essentials.

jvalley, I agree with your basic premise. Also switching to (not just adding) a sales tax system does not penalize for saving like an income tax system does. The current system is full of holes and hidden advantages to some and needs to be fixed. if you spend more - you pay more tax.

State does not need an income tax - just stop the "Current Use" exemption except for active working farms. A property tax state that exempts "over half" the property in the state. Facts show "current use" is not about protecting farms or the low income earners as the bulk of the properties are small wood lots behind private houses and owned by the highest wage bracket earners. If there is any exemption it should go to homes not bulk property........ In truth I would rather have a tax neutral change that was made of 75% income tax and 25% property tax. NO increase, just a better revenue stream. As ones income goes up they pay a little more and when it drops down they pay a little less. AND yes the taxes will go up regardless of where the revenue comes from - property or income.

An income tax could be one approach IF the spider web of taxes were reduced/removed. When was the last time you ever saw a tax reduced/removed? Our state legislators & governor, like most, are addicted to spending more than they can take out of a taxpayers pocket. Might make sense if spending is reigned in - somewhere close to collected would be good.

next year under the tax and spend democrats it will be 3% and then the next year it will be 4% - anybody see the problem with an income tax?

"Onward to fix all the bridges!"...nope..Onward to be just like every other state with an income tax. I do think, however, that since so "many" want and income tax, we change one line on the IRS form to " Donate____% of your taxable income to NH roads and bridges."...Then..."Onward to fix all the bridges!"

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