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Forum, July 22: Close New Hampshire corporate tax loophole


Monday, July 22, 2019
Close New Hampshirecorporate tax loophole

New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu vetoed the biennial state budget for financial reasons, but there’s an estimated $177 million per year available that Sununu refuses to take leadership on.

The issue is tax avoidance by multinational corporations operating in New Hampshire, achieved by shifting profits offshore. The Business Profits Tax rate is meaningless if multinational corporations can reduce their New Hampshire tax base to zero. New Hampshire businesses do not and cannot avoid taxes on the profits they earn in New Hampshire.

In 1986, based on Gov. John Sununu’s scare tactics, the Legislature adopted an accounting method that forced the state to ignore the true identity and profitability of an enterprise. This replaced the accounting method that identified the income of the whole business and apportioned that income according to the proportionate contribution of the taxing state as measured by sales, payroll and property. The Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy estimated the New Hampshire’s revenue loss as a result of this change at $177 million in 2018.

This is why so many foreign corporations are operating in New Hampshire — 453 subsidiaries owned by 186 corporations based in 24 different countries, according to a report by Plymouth State University professors.

Is this a level playing field for local businesses? No.

Shouldn’t New Hampshire close this corporate tax avoidance loophole? Shouldn’t Gov. Chris Sununu, who vetoed a good budget for dubious reasons, become proactive and brave by stopping multinational corporations from dodging their taxes? Multinational companies benefit from New Hampshire public tax dollars by using New Hampshire’s public infrastructure, emergency services and workforce (whose education was paid for through property taxes). Shouldn’t Sununu be doing more to force these large multinational corporations to pay their fair share?

These large U.S.- and foreign-based multinational corporations enjoy New Hampshire’s marketplace, which was paid for by all who live, work and visit here. Don’t they have a responsibility to help solidify our state’s financial foundation?

TOM SCHAMBERG

Wilmot

The writer represents New Hampshire’s Merrimack 4 district.

1973 was a very different time

During the June 27 Democratic debate, U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., severely criticized former Vice President Joe Biden for having worked with segregationist southern Democrats during his early years in the U.S. Senate.

In 1973, when Biden took his seat, the following committees were chaired by senators who had voted against the landmark civil rights legislation of the 1960s: Agriculture, Appropriations, Armed Services, Banking, Finance, Foreign Relations, Government Operations and Judiciary. The majority whip (and future Democratic leader), Robert Byrd, of West Virginia, had opposed both the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, as had Sam Ervin, of North Carolina, the chairman of the special committee created to investigate the Watergate break-in.

Is it realistic to think that the voters of Delaware, or any other place, would have elected someone who said, “I’m not going to have anything to do with those who oversee legislation dealing with taxes and spending, the military and foreign policy, banking and farm programs, the federal courts and judges?”

BOB JAKOUBEK

White River Junction

President says nothing but what he feels

Several weeks ago, a Forum writer questioned if the Democratic candidates for president were being paid to campaign while in the employ of their constituents (“They’re not doing their jobs,” June 23). How partisan!

I wouldn’t be surprised to hear a similar defense of President Donald Trump’s latest racist tweets as “saying what he feels.” I do agree that Trump was spewing nothing but how he feels. But since Trump questioned the citizenship of America’s only non-white president, I pose the same question about Trump’s parents and his wife. I guess he’s always been racist.

DANIEL MOORE

Grafton

Community solar deadline today

Vermont residents have one last chance to save 30% on local community solar. The Thetford Community Solar array still has a few slots open to all Green Mountain Power customers from any Vermont town. Join your neighbors in saving money and having clean energy. This is the last year for 30% back on what you spend through the federal tax credit.

Fill out your reservation form by Monday, July 22. Please email dori.wolfe@gmail.com to confirm your reservation before mailing the form. Forms and info at https://tscs2017.wixsite.com/tscs. Contact Dori Wolfe or the Thetford Energy Committee at thetfordenergy@gmail.com with questions.

MIKE KIESS

Thetford