Governor Sununu and Republicans Use Pandemic to Score Political Points

Contact Name: Sara Persechino, Michael O’Brien

Phone: (603) 271-3479, (603) 271-0515

Email: Sara.Persechino@leg.state.nh.us, mike.b.obrien@leg.state.nh.us

CONCORD, NH - Last week, the Department of Revenue Administration (DRA) released their preliminary estimates for revenues under fiscal year 2020, the year the business tax trigger established in the budget agreement approved by House Republicans and Governor Sununu last year. During the pandemic, Governor Sununu and House and Senate Republicans used the trigger to score political points on the backs of our small business owners and even attempted to grind the work of the New Hampshire House of Representatives to a halt. Yesterday, as House and Senate Democrats had long predicted when the DRA released their estimates it showed that the state fell short of the trigger and that business taxes would remain stable. Representative Mary Jane Wallner (D-Concord) and Senator Lou D’Allesandro (D-Manchester) released the following statement:

“Instead of Governor Sununu and Republicans leading during an unprecedented global pandemic and reassuring anxious small business owners, Republicans saw a political opportunity and let that dictate their actions over the last month. House Republicans led by Minority Leader Hinch and Governor Sununu purposefully misled our small business owners by marketing fated tax increase that was always unlikely to come,” said Representative Mary Jane Wallner. “They even attempted to shut down an entire House Session, dangerously foregoing the peoples’ work for something that was always unlikely to come to fruition.”

“New Hampshire is fortunate to have remarkable people who monitor the budget and our revenues. From the very beginning of this pandemic their message to us was the same—it would be incredibly difficult for New Hampshire to hit the trigger. Republicans and Governor Sununu have access to the same individuals and numbers and could have easily accessed this information but chose to play politics instead,” said Senator Lou D’Allesandro. “House and Senate Democrats have been consistent in saying it was premature to discuss the business tax triggers that were agreed to in the budget compromise by the Legislature and the Governor before we had the full economic picture —not conjecture. Unfortunately, the Republican Party has used this as a political opportunity rather than acting in the best interest of the state.”

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