Brace yourselves. The Senate on Thursday passed a business tax reduction — unanimously.
By a vote of 24-0, Republicans and Democrats agreed to eliminate the business profits tax (BPT) liability of thousands of New Hampshire businesses. Senate Bill 223 would increase the minimum gross income required to file a business profits tax return by 50 percent, from $50,000 to $75,000.
The bill was co-sponsored by Sen. Jeanne Dietsch, D-Peterborough, and Sen. James Gray, R-Rochester. Dietsch last year sponsored a payroll tax that she labeled “an income tax.” Sen. Gray in the past has sponsored right-to-work and anti-abortion bills.
The senators are on opposite ends of the political spectrum, but they found common ground on the idea that the state’s BPT kicks in too early at $50,000 worth of income. Their colleagues agreed and approved the bill by a vote of 24-0.
The Department of Revenue Administration would not estimate the bill’s impact on future tax revenue but did calculate that 4,102 taxpayers reported business tax revenue between $50,001 and $75,000 in 2016. “Of the 4,102 taxpayers, 3,774 had no BPT liability with the remaining 328 taxpayers reporting a total liability of $347,489.”
So the bill has the potential to keep hundreds of thousands of dollars a year circulating in the private sector.
Senate Ways & Means Committee votes against bill to defund education scholarships
Last week The Broadside reported on Senate Bill 663, which would replace business tax deductions for lower-income student scholarships with business tax deductions for higher-earning college graduates.
That reporting got noticed. At Wednesday’s hearing, parents, students, school administrators and donors to the state’s two scholarship programs turned out to explain the value of the scholarships. After lengthy and heart-wrenching testimony, Sen. Dan Feltes, D-Concord, moved to mark the bill Inexpedient to Legislate. Feltes is a sponsor of the bill. The committee voted 5-0 to recommend that the full Senate kill SB 663.