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October 1, 2012

Letter: Constitution not the place to enshrine N.H. tax policy

To the editor:

Sunday’s article “Income tax ban debate heats up” (Sept. 23) failed to mention that state legislators swore to defend the New Hampshire Constitution when they were elected.

In this session alone, the House and Senate attempted 28 times to change the state

Constitution. It’s worth noting that a constitutional amendment is the only legislation they may pass that a governor does not have the power to veto. Of those

28 attempts, legislators succeeded in getting enough votes among the 424 members to place two amendments on our ballot this November.

The first, the focus of the article, asks whether we should strip all future voters of the right to decide for themselves how to pay for their priorities. Should this

pass, we guarantee one thing: continuing growth of property and business taxes for our lifetime, our children’s lifetime and their children’s. Imagine if our great-grandparents thought this way.

It takes two-thirds of all voters casting a vote to pass a constitutional amendment, a high bar. As it should be. A constitution is a document that outlines the framework of sound governance. It is not the place to carry out partisan political agendas, and it is not the place to embed permanent tax policy.

Voters should consider the downsides of a permanent ban on a single form of taxation when going to the polls and ask themselves what the real goal is.

Laurel Redden

Salem, N.H.

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