Letter: It’s time to consider a progressive income tax

Published: 1/10/2019 12:01:08 AM

New Hampshire has a structural revenue problem that has been exacerbated in the last half-dozen years by the Republican Legislature.

The state used to fund 30 percent of the municipal workers’ retirement fund. In 2012 they cut this to zero, seriously impacting the financial stability of the fund and down-shifting the costs to the property taxes of the towns. Implementing the cuts in the business tax will reduce revenue by another $100 million. The New Hampshire “advantage” is becoming the New Hampshire “disadvantage,” with property taxes increasing to a punishing rate for many.

Demographics are destiny. People are leaving the state, especially the younger generation. Many of the schools in the towns are seriously underfunded, likely to prompt another school lawsuit on funding. Your opportunities shouldn’t be determined by your ZIP code. Europe has more economical and social mobility than the Unites States – something that was always the reverse.

We are the seventh wealthiest state on a per capita basis, and we rank 45th in taxation. While one side has promoted cutting taxes as the only solution to any issue, UNH has become the most expensive public college in the nation. The community colleges are the second highest in the country. Mental health is woefully underfunded and playing into the opioid crisis.

It is time we considered a progressive income tax, emphasizing the word progressive. We don’t need to burden working people, who are struggling, with additional regressive taxes (such as the sales or gas tax). We need to find a method of taxation that provides relief for those who pay punishing real estate taxes, adequately fund our schools, and make a New Hampshire that attracts and keeps the next generation.



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