Pratte: Fiscal Irresponsibility Returns to Concord

When our legislators in Concord act irresponsibly, you and I pay for it.  And soon we’ll be paying more in taxes and fees while exposing the State to extraordinarily risky financial situations over the next decade.

The budget proposed by House Democrats and Governor Maggie Hassan increases spending by a whopping 16% all while raiding funds New Hampshire has set aside for rainy days, expanding Medicaid, placing a moratorium on all school building aid, stifling the growth of charter schools, and cutting off children who received an education tax credit to attend private schools.

Given the Governor’s victory last autumn, and given the significant majority that the Democrats hold in the House of Representatives, why not take the time and conduct a thorough review of our State budget, weeding out inefficient government programs and re-evaluating which programs work and which could be run more efficiently.

Instead, legislators took the easy road and simply increased taxes on you and me.  They aren’t simply increasing taxes, they’re attempting to increase them by a startling $263 million, including a new gas tax that will cause you to pay an additional $3 at each fill-up.

Sadly, the gas tax will have a disproportionate impact on families because parents must drive their children to school, soccer practice, and dance recitals, or are hoping to scrape up just enough money for a family vacation in the White Mountains.  It is a shame that New Hampshire families are being forced to cut their budgets because the Democratic leadership refuses to make the hard choices in Concord.

And while $263 million in additional taxes seem like a lot, it’s likely not enough to cover all the increased spending.  In fact, there are significant discrepancies in how Governor Hassan’s budget calculates real estate transfer taxes, meals taxes, and insurance taxes.  And just this week, the President of the New Hampshire Hospital Association explained that some of the revenue will not materialize and never make its way back to New Hampshire hospitals.

As the Executive Director of Cornerstone, we are calling on legislators to take the time to thoroughly analyze the budget and identify ways in which we can cut costs and strengthen efficiency without resorting to manipulating revenues, preventing parents from using their tax dollars to send their kids to the school of their choice, and significantly increasing our taxes.

It would be a shame if New Hampshire families were forced to cut their budgets because Governor Hassan and the Democratically-controlled House refused to make the hard choices in Concord.

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