Gov. Maggie Hassan has vetoed a bill that would have changed the state’s business tax code. The so-called “Planet Fitness” measure was introduced by the gym franchise in May after the company’s executives threatened to leave the state if the law was not changed.
The bill would essentially allow companies planning to go public to decide to opt out of paying the state Business Profits Tax on its shares at the time of a public offering. But the company would then lose out on any depreciation benefit on future tax bills.
Hassan said in a statement that she was "disturbed by the process” behind the bill’s passage, saying that it was rushed and lacked a proper public hearing. But Hassan said she is willing to consider similar legislation as part of a larger budget agreement if the tax law changes can be paid for.
Currently the two-year state budget negotiations are at a stalemate over disagreements between Hassan and Republican leaders over proposed business tax cuts.
Majority Leader Sen. Jeb Bradley said Hassan's veto sends the message that New Hampshire is bad for business. It will also cost the state money, he said.
“If a company like Planet Fitness chooses to leave New Hampshire and incorporate in another state, which they easily could, guess what? We are going to lose Business Enterprise Tax revenue and Business Profits Tax revenue,” he said Monday after the veto.
Planet Fitness officials say the company’s Newington headquarters employs 150 to 175 people.