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Senate Republicans React to Governor Hassan’s Budget Address

Posted by on Feb 12, 2015 in Press

New taxes and higher spending

(CONCORD) Senate Republicans today issued these statements following Governor Maggie Hassan’s Budget Address.

Senate President Chuck Morse (R-Salem): “Senate Republicans have been very clear that we will live within our means, and certainly not support the Governor’s Billion Dollar spending increase. We will not support increasing taxes as the Governor proposes on businesses, driver, and smokers.”

Senate Majority Leader Jeb Bradley (R-Wolfeboro): “Budgets are about priorities, and lowering our high business tax rates is the strongest step we can take to boost New Hampshire’s economy and attract new jobs to our state. Governor Hassan’s priorities are to increase state spending, rely on questionable revenues like Keno gambling, and impose an income tax on New Hampshire business owners.”

Senate Finance Committee Chair Jeanie Forrester (R-Meredith): “I have made protecting dedicated funds a priority in the next budget, and I want to thank Governor Hassan for agreeing to this approach. But I can’t agree with her call for higher taxes to pay for a billion dollar budget increase.”

Senate Ways and Means Committee Chair David Boutin (R-Hooksett): “The Governor is counting on state revenues that are more than $100 million a year higher than the bipartisan recommendations of the House Ways and Means Committee, in part because she wants to raises taxes and again rely on gambling revenue that the Legislature hasn’t approved. We need to make sure our revenues are realistic as we put the next budget together.”

BACKGROUND ON SENATE BUDGET BILLS

SB 5- Automatically transfers budget surpluses to NH Rainy Day Fund.

SB 13- Requires 2/3 vote of House and Senate in order to use dedicated fund for other purposes.

SB 1- Lowers Business Profits Tax from 8.5% to 7.9%.

SB 2- Lowers Business Enterprise Tax from 0.75% to 0.675%.

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Senate bills call for reduced business tax rates

Posted by on Jan 20, 2015 in Press

Bradley HeadshotBipartisan support to make NH more business friendly

CONCORD, N.H. – The Senate Ways and Means committee heard two bills today that would lower New Hampshire’s Business Profits Tax and Business Enterprise Tax. Both SB 1 and SB 2 would reduce New Hampshire’s business tax burden statewide.

“New Hampshire’s high business taxes not only pose an obvious financial challenge for our state’s small business owners, but they have also undermined NH’s competitiveness relative to other states,” said Senate Majority Leader Jeb Bradley (R-Wolfeboro).

“Last session we made reforms to a series of other business taxes and by doing so, we are seeing improvements in the business community. Lowering the state’s Business Profits Tax would continue to encourage businesses to seek growth and would help attract new businesses to New Hampshire,” Bradley added.

“Rhode Island recently reduced its corporate tax rate and so unless we act, New Hampshire will have the highest corporate tax rate in all of New England.”

As introduced, SB 1 would reduce the Business Profits Tax from 8.5% to 8% over the next four years. SB 2 would reduce the Business Enterprise Tax by 10% over the next three years.

“SB 2 related to reducing the rate of the Business Enterprise Tax, as another important step in making New Hampshire a better place to do business and will make New Hampshire more business friendly overall,” said Senator Andy Sanborn (R-Bedford).

“We are seeing a nation-wide trend of lowering business taxes and in the past two years alone, more than 25 states have passed legislation that reduces taxes on businesses, making those states more competitive places for business.”

“Lowering the Business Profits Tax in conjunction with lowering the Business Enterprise Tax in New Hampshire are ways we can acknowledge the burden these taxes put on small business owners and work to improve the business climate, spurring economic growth across the state,” Sanborn continued.

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Bradley backs Sanborn’s Tax Amnesty to help taxpayers catch up

Posted by on Jan 7, 2015 in Press

Andy Sanborn HeadshotDedicates revenues for one-time expenses

Concord, NH– Senate Majority Leader Jeb Bradley (R-Wolfeboro) today added his support to a Tax Amnesty Program Bill proposed by Sen. Andy Sanborn (R-Bedford). The program would let taxpayers pay back taxes owed to the State of New Hampshire without interest or penalties during a short window. Sanborn’s bill would use the one-time revenue generated by the program to set up a New Hampshires first taxpayer E-File system, and to provide a one-time boost to state aid to local road construction projects. Bradley says that Sanborn’s bill would give taxpayers struggling through the recent recession a chance to fulfill their obligations.

“New Hampshire has allowed a brief Tax Amnesty window twice before, and both have been successful,” Sanborn said. “But it’s important that we use this one-time revenue for one-time expenses, and not as a cash grab to make up for overspending in the current budget.”

“Senator Sanborn’s bill is the fiscally responsible way to implement a Tax Amnesty Program,” Bradley continued. “The fiscally responsible way to address our current deficit is to make sure state spending stays within the budget overwhelmingly approved by the Legislature and signed by the Governor.”

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Bradley Applauds Temporary Unemployment Insurance Rate Reduction

Posted by on Jan 6, 2015 in Press

Bradley HeadshotOnly economic growth will deliver permanent rate relief for employers

Concord, NH – Senate Majority Leader Jeb Bradley (R-Wolfeboro) today applauded the half-percent reduction in Unemployment Compensation Surcharges on New Hampshire business, announced by Labor Commissioner George Copadis.

“I want to thank Commissioner Copadis for his stewardship of the Unemployment Trust Fund, which made today’s announcement possible,” Bradley said. “There’s more work to be done, as all employers are still paying a 0.5% more than they would if the Trust Fund were fully funded. And the rate will automatically increase in three months if we can’t get New Hampshire’s economy moving.”

New Hampshire businesses have been paying higher UC rates since 2004, when the Unemployment Trust Fund dropped below $300 million. As the Trust Fund rebounded, three of the four surcharges have now been removed. But the Department of Labor now projects that the UC Trust Fund will drop below $275 million next quarter, increasing rates by 0.5% for the rest of the year.

“In order to deliver permanent rate relief to New Hampshire employers, we need to not only protect the UC Trust Fund, but grow the New Hampshire economy,” Bradley added. “Republican tax reforms are already helping boost New Hampshire’s economy, and that will be our focus throughout this session.”

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Boutin Applauds Strong December Revenues

Posted by on Jan 6, 2015 in Press

David Boutin HeadshotConservative estimates continue to pay dividends for NH

Concord, NH – Senate Ways and Means Committee Chairman David Boutin (R-Hooksett) applauded today’s strong December revenue report from the Department of Administrative Services. Revenues for the month came in $14.3 million ahead of plan, and are $19.2 million above projections with six months left in the 2015 budget year.

“Two years ago, the Senate insisted on adopting conservative revenue estimates to protect New Hampshire taxpayers from a budget shortfall. That decision continues to pay dividends for New Hampshire,” Boutin said.

Entering the month, business tax receipts had been running behind projections, but were offset by stronger revenues from other sources. FY14 revenues came in $3.1 million higher than anticipated, and FY15 revenues are currently $19.2 million above plan. That leaves the state revenues $22.3 million above projections with six months lefts in the current two-year budget, which runs through June 30th.

“I’m encouraged by the improved performance in business tax revenues. It shows that the New Hampshire economy is improving, thanks in part to the tax reforms we’ve passed over the past four years,” Boutin added. “The December revenue report provides more useful information as the Senate Ways and Means Committee begins crafting revenue estimates for the next two year budget.”

The Senate Ways and Means Committee meets next week to hear from both the Legislative Budget Assistant’s Office and the Department of Revenue Administration.

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Senate Republicans outline 2015 Priorities

Posted by on Dec 19, 2014 in Press

Focus on responsibly meeting NH’s needs

Morse HeadshotConcord, NH – Members of the Senate Republican Caucus today outlined their priorities for the 2015 Legislative Session. Senate President Chuck Morse (R-Salem) gave the following statement:

“We look forward to a productive legislative session, working with our Democratic colleagues, the House, and the Governor. Today, we are presenting a positive agenda focusing on six key priorities.”

Budget

“The Legislature’s first responsibility is to craft a responsible balanced budget that lives within our means. We will meet the needs of NH citizens without new taxes or fees.” -Sen. Jeanie Forrester (R-Meredith), Senate Finance Committee Chair.

Job Growth
“We must concentrate on streamlining or eliminating regulations, addressing our high business tax rates, and becoming more responsive to the needs of entrepreneurs.” -Sen. Russell Prescott (R-Kingston), Senate Commerce Committee Chair.

Protecting Taxpayers and Their Constitutional Rights
“We will protect the Constitutional rights of all New Hampshire citizens, and ensure open and transparent government.” -Sen. Sharon Carson (R-Londonderry), Senate Judiciary Committee Chair.

Energy
“NH families and businesses continue to pay among the highest electric rates in the nation. Bringing market-based reforms to our energy sector can bring down energy prices.” -Sen. Jeb Bradley (R-Wolfeboro), Senate Energy Committee Chair.

Health Care
“Bringing competition and transparency to NH’s health care industry will not only bring down health care costs, but improve health care outcomes for NH families and businesses.” -Sen. Andy Sanborn (R-Bedford), Senate Health and Human Services Committee Chair.

Education
“We continue to support excellence in public education by empowering local control of schools and ensuring that parents and students have the greatest opportunities.” -Sen. Nancy Stiles (R-Hampton), Senate Education Committee Vice-Chair.

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Bradley, Carson hail Supreme Court decision upholding NH Retirement System reforms

Posted by on Dec 10, 2014 in Press

Bradley HeadshotConcord, NH – Senate Majority Leader Jeb Bradley (R-Wolfeboro) today hailed the New Hampshire Supreme Court decision in PFFNH v NH, upholding key legislative reforms to the New Hampshire Retirement System.

“I’m encouraged that the Supreme Court has upheld the right and duty of the Legislature to amend and improve the New Hampshire Retirement System. Unless we can address the $5 billion unfunded liability in our state pension system, both taxpayers and workers would be left with a huge financial burden. This decision affirms the Legislature’s ability to make the changes we’ll need to preserve the New Hampshire Retirement System, protect taxpayers, and maintain employee jobs.”

Sharon Carson HeadshotSen. Bradley was prime sponsor of SB 3 in 2011, which was incorporated into the FY 12-13 budget. Senate Executive Departments and Administration Committee Chair Sharon Carson (R-Londonderry) thanked Bradley for his leadership on pension reform, and said the next Legislature would continue the effort to shore up the New Hampshire Retirement System.

“In 2011, Senator Bradley led the way to make necessary and fair changes to begin reforming the New Hampshire Retirement System. We preserved a generous pension benefit for public sector workers, and in return asked for slightly higher contributions, asked some younger beneficiaries to work 25 years instead of 20 years, and addressed long-ignored abuses to the system. This was a first step in ensuring that public sector workers across New Hampshire have a viable pension system for years to come.”

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