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Forum, Oct. 10: NH Republicans’ tax policy is good only for wealthy

Published: 10/9/2020 10:00:14 PM
Modified: 10/9/2020 10:00:08 PM
NH Republicans’ tax policy is good only for wealthy

Republican talking points about taxes have warped in recent years to an anarchic dystopia. This term, the New Hampshire House endured chants of “taxation is theft.” If taxation is theft, all government is illegal and we have anarchy.

In the last decade, the majority of Republican representatives have labeled all taxes and fees (that they did not enact) “income taxes.” All revenues are paid from someone’s or some entity’s earnings. But a fee funds a specified program, and a tax funds all government programs. A corporate or personal income tax is a tax. The business enterprise tax, enacted in 1993, is 80% wages, and 20% measures to keep high earners from paying themselves in other ways. The interest and dividends tax, from 1923, was an income tax on the wealthy, who nowadays get more of their wealth from capital gains.

In contrast, today’s proposal for a paid family leave benefit — favored by a huge majority of our citizens and funded by a 0.5% levy on wages — is a fee. Yet it is denounced by Republicans as an income tax, and the governor proposes a private, optional plan unworkable for those who need it.

They also claim that Democrats voted to increase business tax rates during the pandemic, refusing to undo a state budget clause negotiated between the governor and majority. It set a trigger for taxes to revert to 2018 levels if revenues fell by 6%, almost the worst level during the Great Recession. We lost a lot in March-June, but not enough to trigger the tax increase, with late payments we knew would come in July.

The tax increase, mostly on large multistate corporations, would have saved us from service cuts the next governor and we will have to make next year, slowing the recovery.

Service cuts usually end up as property tax increases. Property taxes are two-thirds of the total tax burden in New Hampshire, and are also the largest taxes on businesses. Republican tax policy is good only for the wealthiest businesses and households, not for our state’s real economy.



Molly Gray is Vermont’s future

I’m supporting Molly Gray for Vermont lieutenant governor. Her opponent, Scott Milne, wants to use his business experience to strengthen Vermont’s economy, but his approach is out of step with present realities. If experience from the pre-COVID-19 era were key, he might have a point. But that was quite a while ago.

The business models Milne learned in the past are blind to the structural and social problems that have been exposed during the pandemic. White-collar and blue-collar workers alike recognize what’s dragging the economy down — widespread inequities in high-speed internet, affordable education, job training and health care. The gaps are as much a drag on the well-to-do as they are on workers farther down the ladder. It is no surprise that Gray recognizes that without building broadband to the far corners, educating students everywhere to succeed and stimulating businesses up and down our state, many Vermonters won’t have the confidence or training they’ll need to master their own destinies.

Growing up on a farm on the banks of the Connecticut River, Gray gained a deep appreciation of Vermont’s natural beauty and an undeniable connection to the land. But she didn’t stop there. She graduated from the University of Vermont and Vermont Law School and became a well-respected assistant attorney general. She helped elect Peter Welch to Congress, worked for the International Committee of the Red Cross leading field missions to Haiti, Uganda, Georgia, the Balkans and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. She became an expert in international human rights law. Never one to take the easy path, her commitment to public service and fighting for the most vulnerable is outstanding.

It is Molly Gray’s blend of education and experience working with people of other cultures that make her uniquely suited to tackle the challenges ahead as lieutenant governor. She understands the inner workings of policy and the law and is enthusiastic about Vermont. She is our future.


Thetford Center

The writer represents the Windsor-Orange 2 district in the Vermont House.

Jenn Alford-Teaster will fight for working families

With enthusiasm, I encourage everyone in Senate District 8 to vote for Jenn Alford-Teaster. She is the person who will truly fight for working families because she is a mom in a working family and knows the everyday struggles. Her personal story gives her the empathy and understanding to relate to the issues working families are facing daily.

She will vigilantly protect our environment. She is a scientist and knowledgeable of climate change and its impact on our rural New Hampshire environment. She will be a credible voice on the impact it has on our health as well as the businesses in our region.

She understands the shrinking trades workforce and will support trades and apprenticeship opportunities. She believes it is possible to build economic prosperity without a new sales or income tax.

As a respected public health scientist, she is aware of the need for rural access to health care and understands the importance of the expansion of broadband access and telemedicine as a way to increase affordable access to health care.

As a retired educator, I am always warmed by the success of former students. Alford-Teaster is a perfect example of the payback of a strong public school education. She is the product of a quality education from a strong New Hampshire public school system. She will fight for equity and quality in our public schools.

Please visit and meet her. She puts people first. Vote for Jenn Alford-Teaster on Nov 3.



The writer is chair of the Newport Democratic Town Committee.

Kirk White has the skills, experience that we need

I am supporting Kirk White in his bid to be state representative for Bethel, Rochester, Pittsfield and Stockbridge in the Vermont House.

White has been a leader in several community initiatives over the years. Through his work in co-founding the Bethel Revitalization Initiative and Bethel University, he has developed both the knowledge and the skills needed to represent our interests at the state level and pursue creative solutions.

Growing up in Bethel, and working as a professional health practitioner, he knows firsthand the challenges facing those living and working in small towns. He believes in working in collaborative teams to find common solutions.

He knows that we need to address the shrinking of our communities and the flight of our youth. By addressing such complex issues as the cost of health insurance, lack of affordable housing, expanding access to affordable day care and early childhood education, focusing on workforce development and creating business incentives, we can reverse this negative trend in Vermont.

For years he has worked to bring people with differing points of view together to address our challenges. As our representative, he will use these same skills and experience to create a Vermont where all people are valued and can participate in their communities without fear of bias and racism.

Please join me in supporting Kirk White in the upcoming general election. Your vote is important, and can happen either by mail or in person.



Liza Draper is a dedicated and tireless advocate

It is with great pleasure that I write this letter in support of Liza Draper’s candidacy for state representative representing Claremont. I have known her for several years and seen her work tirelessly in support of many projects, all of which are designed to benefit our local citizens, whether in education or human services.

She worked at the Montshire Museum as a science educator, and she also taught in the Claremont School District, was a community heath educator for the TLC Family Resource Center and served as the outreach coordinator for Girls Inc. of New Hampshire.

Her activities have always shown her commitment to helping our youth and adults to have a better understanding of their rights and responsibilities. She is tireless in the things she most believes in and is a dedicated advocate for the Claremont community. We will be well-served to have her represent us and promoting a better representation of Claremont.

Please join me in sending Liza Draper to Concord to speak for us.



Carl Demrow has been remarkably effective

I’ve been so impressed with the job Carl Demrow has been doing for our small rural towns in the two years he has been our state representative. When he says, “Let me know if I can help,” he means it, and he always follows through.

As a Selectboard member, I have often called on him to help navigate our interactions with the state government, and he has been remarkably effective at this. And he has worked hard not only for his hometown of Corinth, but also for the other towns in this large district: Chelsea, Orange, Vershire, Washington and Williamstown

Most important, he understands the problems his constituents face because he listens to us, all of us. For him, talking with the people in his district is his biggest responsibility.

Smart, effective, responsive and compassionate, he has proven to be an excellent legislator. We are lucky to have him, and I could not more strongly endorse his re-election. Vote for Carl Demrow.



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