After a long battle in Concord, the state’s business tax rates are now set to drop starting next year, the first such cut in more than a decade.

But the question of whether these cuts will succeed in luring new businesses to New Hampshire doesn't yet have a clear answer.

Jack Rodolico

There’s an upside and a downside to being an independent massage therapist.

Upside: no boss. You work for yourself. Downside: no boss. There’s no employer to provide health insurance.

"So then the Affordable Care Act was coming around," says Rachelle Lowe, a masseuse in Concord, "what I found was it wasn’t as affordable as I thought. And the deductibles are outrageous, so at this time I’m still not insured."

Sarah Miller / Flickr/CC

New Hampshire, first in the nation when it comes to reliance on this tax, has long debated it. While critics say it’s unevenly distributed, defenders say it’s great for local control and far better than an income tax. And this familiar conversation is playing out across the country, with other states debating the fairness issue and offering alternatives.

This program was originally broadcast on June 12, 2014.


Ryan Lessard / NHPR

Republican gubernatorial candidate Walt Havenstein says lowering the state’s business profits tax is part of his plan to create 25,000 new jobs by August 2017.

Walt Havenstein says under his plan, reducing the tax from 8.5% to 7.4% would take place over two budget cycles.

The former BAE CEO acknowledged it would cost the state $50 million in revenue in the first biennium, but says no spending cuts would be needed.

“Even at our meager, meager anemic growth rate, our growth rate will offset that particular reduction.”


New Hampshire U.S. Rep. Annie Kuster says hunters who donate wild game to food banks should be eligible for a tax deduction to cover the costs of processing.

New Hampshire's tax receipts are $25 million ahead of estimates so far this fiscal year despite a weak showing in October.

Administrative Services Commissioner Linda Hodgdon said receipts were $2 million below estimates, but October is a relatively small tax month. The state collected $105 million and had forecast receiving $107 million. Hodgdon said business taxes were down over $4 million, but such a small tax collection month makes it difficult to know if that signals a trend.

Since July 1, the state has collected $541 million.

Americans recently completed that annual ritual, when they file their returns to Uncle Sam.  But over the century of this tax, there’s been lots of debate on its effectiveness and fairness. and a few states, including New Hampshire have decided not to do this at the state level.  We’ll look at the history of the income tax and how it’s evolved.


John-Morgan via flickr Creative Commons

Since its introduction in 1861, “Tax Day” has loomed as a day of inevitable fiscal obligation. As the 15th of April approaches, stresses related to tax filings inevitably ramp up. To some, tax burdens may become too much to shoulder, leading to filings for extensions or an uncomfortable loss of funds. However, yearly tax payments can result in an even more uncomfortable reality – damage to your credit. Here to discuss how Uncle Sam affects your credit score is Gerri Detweiler,’s personal finance expert.

Hassan Makes Pitch For Raising Cigarette Tax

Feb 14, 2013
SuperFantastic / Flickr Creative Commons

Governor Maggie Hassan is looking to raise New Hampshire’s cigarette tax.  In her state budget address, she pitched a  30-cent increase as good public health policy.

“New Hampshire has the highest youth smoking rate in the Northeast, with 19.8 percent of high school students who smoke cigarettes," Hassan said.  "Cigarette taxes nationwide have proven to be one of the most effective ways to prevent youth smoking.”

She also said it will raise $40 million in revenue without compromising cross-border sales.

Author Molly Michelmore explores what she calls the fundamental paradox of American Politics:  We’re hostile toward taxes, but we also demand the privileges government offers from social security to local police protection.  Michelmore examines the history of this conundrum and finds these attitudes consistent from FDR’s New Deal to the Reagan Revolution.


Ballot question one asks if New Hampshire should permanently prohibit an income tax?  In next month's election, Granite Staters will have to vote 'yes' or 'no' on this proposed change to the state's constitution. Supporters say this would settle a longstanding debate once and for all. Opponents say it would damage the state's fiscal standing. Today, we're taking a look at the arguments both pro and con to this question and answer any questions you may have before you head to the ballot box.


It looks like tax policy will be front and center on ballots later this fall.

Lawmakers have agreed on two constitutional amendments that limit New Hampshire’s ability to tax its citizens.

When Republicans swept into the Legislature after the 2010 elections, they promised to focus on jobs and the economy.

Leadership in both chambers believe they’ve helped deliver on that promise by reaching agreement on constitutional amendments to install a tax cap, and another banning an income tax.

More than 99 million federal taxpayers had filed their returns as of Tuesday, with more than 80 million of those expecting a refund.

People who file at the last minute — and Tuesday is this year's deadline — are somewhat more likely to owe money to the government. And if Congress and the president don't act, next year could see many more Americans paying higher taxes.

That's not because either President Obama or presumptive Republican challenger Mitt Romney advocate a tax increase for most Americans.

When IRS agents raided the house of rapper Young Buck, they seized all his things: his white leather dining chairs, his watches, his craps table, his tattoo kit. Even his refrigerator. The Nashville artist, who was once part of 50 Cent's G-Unit, owed hundreds of thousands of dollars in back taxes.

His lawyer, Robin Mitchell Joyce, said he thought Young Buck's taxes were being handled by his business manager. They weren't.

It's that time of year again – tax week.

With the deadline for Americans to file their income taxes looming, there's a good chance you've heard or will hear from politicians, on cable news and on talk radio about those who pay little or no taxes.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor has said that we "have a situation in this country where you're nearing 50 percent of people who don't even pay income taxes." There are even those who say that there are nearly 50 percent of Americans who pay no taxes at all.

Why Tax Day Falls On April 17 This Year

Apr 13, 2012

Every year, millions of Americans scramble to file their income taxes before the filing deadline — ordinarily April 15.

But procrastinators get a reprieve this year: The 2012 deadline falls on Tuesday, April 17.

This year, April 15 falls on a Sunday. One might expect that would make Monday, April 16, the 2012 filing deadline.

But not so this year. Monday is the District of Columbia's Emancipation Day — a local holiday unfamiliar to most Americans.

Tax Day 2012 is looming — and after we file our returns, many of us will try to figure out what to do with the seemingly innocuous but possibly crucial documents we use to prepare our returns. Filing electronically can make those records easier to manage. But what should we really keep, and for how long?

Most experts recommend holding on to financial records for three years after they're used in a tax return — that's the amount of time the IRS has to audit taxpayers.

Photo by Beast of Traal via Flickr Creative Commons

Part 1:

Users, Unite!

This is the one union that will kick you out if you pass a drug test. Jesse McKinley wrote about the evolution and demands of the San Francisco drug users union for The New York Time.

New York Times Article  

Part 2:

The Cow Clause

House Folds on Gaming Bill

Mar 28, 2012

Gambling in New Hampshire ran up against a stacked deck in the Statehouse today. 

The House has voted to kill a bill that would have brought four casinos and 14,000 video slot machines to the state. The bill would have used gambling revenue to reduce business taxes.

Supporters urged quick action to offset the recent approval of three casinos in Massachusetts.

"Since Massachusetts passed its own expanded gaming bill, doing nothing is no longer an option," says Representative David Campbell, a Democrat from Nashua.

The House rejected that plan by 40 votes. 

The Cow Loophole

Mar 27, 2012
Photo by No oooming! via Flickr

When I think of tax evasion or corporate loopholes, I think paper shredders and mumbling accountants huddled over ledgers – not green pastures and high white fences… and yet, for wealthy landowners looking to avoid the brunt of high property taxes through agricultural credits and breaks, all it takes to save millions is a few stray heifers, or a handful of goats.   Pat Garofalo is economic policy editor at Think Progress, and the author a recent op-ed called

New Hampshire communities have long depended on it to fund government services and schools. Over the years that reliance has grown, as state funding has abated. The tax is often lauded for enhancing local control but criticized for over burdening those on fixed incomes.  We’ll look at these arguments both in this state and nationally.


Many religious traditions stress the importance of charity. But Mormons are remarkable for the amount and the precision with which they give to their church.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints teaches that each Mormon in good standing should tithe 10 percent of his or her income. The money goes right to church headquarters in Salt Lake City and then is distributed back to congregations around the world.

"That's written in stone, and preached from the pulpit," says Gordon Dahl, an economist at the University of California, San Diego, who is Mormon.

Cutting taxes is part of the DNA of the modern Republican Party. All four of the remaining GOP candidates for president have proposed steep cuts in business and personal taxes, and it sometimes seems like Republicans are competing to show the most enthusiasm for tax cuts.

At a debate last month, former Sen. Rick Santorum said tax cuts were needed to get the economy thriving again — even if they benefit the wealthy.

<a href="">David Rebber</a> via/ Flickr Creative Commons

There’s National Pi Day...that’s P-I for the mathematicians.

There’s talk like a Pirate Day....ARRRGH... and then there’s today- January 27th, the IRS’s Earned Income Tax Credit Day.

Who knew?

Usually infomercials sound too good to be true, right?

“The Ginsu 2000 can saw a lead pipe and still slice a tomato like this. The legend is back..” 

You expect this kind of shtick from a company peddling steak knives.

But the IRS?


Our issue Tuesday series continues with the Republican Presidential Candidates and their fiscal policies.  The soaring national debt has been a rallying cry among republicans, who see it as a top economic threat.  We’ll examine what the candidates are saying about government spending, debt and deficits…as well as entitlement reform, programs like Social security and Medicare.


The Bi-Partisan Congressional Super-committee failed last week to reach a deficit reduction agreement.  That means automatic spending cuts kick in, in twenty thirteen…and President Obama says he’ll veto any attempt avoid those.  We talk with two economists about what this all means…and about the rocky political and economic roads ahead.






Tax collections were off in the month of October by $4 million dollars. The drop in tobacco revenue makes up the majority of the shortfall.

The tobacco tax brought in $2.6 million less than expected in October.

That shortfall has prompted criticism of the GOP push to cut the tax by a dime back in June.

In a sharply worded press release about the overall budget House Democrats said it doesn’t make sense to “make college more expensive and cigarettes cheaper.”

The congressional “super committee” is only tasked with cutting one point two trillion dollars from the federal debt. But Second District Republican Congressman Charlie Bass is asking the panel to cut even deeper, even if it taxes are thrown into the mix.