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October 13, 2013

Study fuels business tax debate in N.H.

Bay State ranks far below at No. 25

CONCORD — New Hampshire ranked eighth among states for business tax climate in the Tax Foundation’s annual report released last week.

The state slipped from No. 7, but remained the best in New England — and far ahead of its neighbor Massachusetts at No. 25.

“This report once again underscores that New Hampshire continues to be the best state in the region and one of the best states in the nation for doing business,” said Marc Goldberg, a spokesman for Gov. Maggie Hassan.

But some in the Granite State remain troubled by the state’s business tax policy.

Dig into the Tax Foundation analysis and the numbers show New Hampshire at No. 48 for corporate taxes, No. 46 for unemployment taxes and No. 42 for property taxes.

What keeps the state highly rated overall for business climate in the Tax Foundation study is the lack of sales and personal income taxes, though it does tax interest and dividends.

David Juvet, who follows tax policy for the Business and Industry Association, said the foundation scores New Hampshire pretty low in some components.

The state’s business profits tax, among the highest in the nation at 8.5 percent, and the business enterprise tax that is unique to the state, are reasons why, he said.

“I think everybody wishes our taxes were lower,” Juvet said.

The BIA’s president, Jim Roche, this summer publicly warned state leaders New Hampshire is at a fork in the road.

“One road leads New Hampshire toward becoming just another expensive, business-hostile, northeastern U.S. state,” Roche told them.

The other road would let New Hampshire stand alone in the region as a place where manufacturers and technology companies thrive, creating jobs and stimulating the economy, Roche said.

Greg Moore, state director of Americans For Prosperity, said the state’s low ranking for corporate taxes is a worry.

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