After just two years of a Democrat-run General Court – and multiple efforts to raise taxes and destroy the New Hampshire Advantage, which were fortunately vetoed by Governor Chris Sununu – voters put Republicans back in charge of the Granite State. Now, the people of New Hampshire can look forward to some much-needed tax relief.
Going into Election Day, Democrats controlled the state Senate with a 14-10 majority and the state House with a 230-157 majority (13 seats were vacant). Democrats also had a 3-2 advantage on the Executive Council, which approves expenditures in the state budget and provides oversight for receipts and spending for state departments and agencies.
With those majorities, Democrats proposed a number of tax increases, including an income tax and a sales tax. They also tried to impose a variety of burdensome regulations, such as raising the cap on the state’s net metering program, which would have increased the cost of monthly energy bills.
Granite Staters clearly had enough of the liberal tax and spend agenda, and they showed it on November 3rd.
In addition to reelecting Gov. Sununu – one of 13 Governors who have signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, a written commitment to New Hampshire taxpayers that he will oppose and veto any and all tax increases – for his third consecutive term, voters also handed both legislative chambers back over to the GOP. Republicans now control the state Senate with a 14-10 majority and the state House with a 229-171 majority. Buttressing this Republican trifecta, voters flipped the Executive Council to Republicans, with a 4-1 advantage.
“New Hampshire Republicans ran as a unified ticket that put New Hampshire first, and the result is an incoming Republican Majority in the Executive Council and both chambers at the State House,” tweeted Gov. Sununu. “I am pleased that Granite State voters rejected the DC style politics that had crept into the State House these last two years, and I am excited to get to work with our new Republican majorities to deliver results for the people of this state.”
Gov. Sununu is already showing the people of New Hampshire how Republicans will deliver results: Tax relief. On multiple occasions, Gov. Sununu has expressed strong support for reducing the meals and rooms tax and has also indicated that he would like to reduce other business taxes.
The New Hampshire meals and rooms tax is imposed on restaurants, hotels, and grocery stores that sell prepared food. Currently, the meals and rooms tax rate is 9% of the meal or room cost. Reducing this tax would be a huge win for New Hampshire’s tourism industry, which has been hit particularly hard by the forced shutdowns to slow the spread of the virus.
In addition to helping these struggling businesses, reducing the meals and rooms tax would actually be a win for all Granite Staters, as it would reduce the overall cost of purchasing food at restaurants and staying overnight in hotels, cabins, and other lodging facilities.
Gov. Sununu has also expressed interest in undoing Democrat-led increases to the tax Business Profits Tax (BPT) and Business Enterprise Tax (BET).
Prior to Democrats taking control of the General Court, the state’s BPT and BET rates were scheduled to be reduced in 2019 and 2021 thanks to a budget prepared by Republicans and Gov. Sununu in 2017.
The Democrats agreed to allow the 2019 tax cuts to take effect as planned, but made the 2021 tax cuts contingent upon two revenue triggers. The first trigger would have allowed the promised 2021 tax cuts to take effect if revenues had come in above a certain threshold. The second trigger would have increased the BPT and BET rates, effectively undoing the 2019 tax relief, if revenues had come in below a certain threshold.
While businesses across New Hampshire dodged the latter trigger – which would have resulted in them facing tax increases during the pandemic – the first trigger was not hit either. Now, because Democrats insisted on changing the law, New Hampshire taxpayers have been robbed of tax relief in 2021.
Fortunately, Gov. Sununu and Republicans in the General Court have expressed interested in reversing this tax hike and allowing the 2021 tax cuts to take effect as planned, regardless of revenue. This would result business across New Hampshire, who have already been making tough decisions over the past few months, having more money to invest in jobs, wages, and basic business operations.
Now that New Hampshire is totally controlled by Republicans, members of the House, Senate, and Executive Council can work with Gov. Sununu in providing much needed tax relief to the hard-working people across the Granite State.