Governor Hassan proudly moves the ‘Balsams Boondoggle’ forward

hassansb30Today Governor Hassan signed Senate Bill 30. The bill that many legislators kept saying wasn’t about the Balsams while others coined it the “Balsams Bill.” This is the boondoggle that is going to line the pockets of Les Otten while he attempts to rebuild the Balsams to create low-paying jobs in the North Country.

Of course, the people in North Country don’t care that Otten has failed in the past and left his American Ski Company on the verge of bankruptcy. They also don’t care that the rest of New Hampshire will indeed be on the hook if this ridiculous project fails. When legislation is signed specifically so the taxpayers can back a private business developer who couldn’t get financing without the state’s help, there’s a problem. Here’s Hassan’s statement:

Governor Maggie Hassan issued the following statement after today signing Senate Bill 30, permitting counties with unincorporated areas to establish tax increment financing districts:

“Senate Bill 30 is a critical piece of economic development legislation, giving unincorporated areas the same access to economic development resources as the rest of the state. This bipartisan measure is also an important step forward for advancing the Balsams redevelopment project, which is a bold vision for the revitalization of this historic resort with great potential to create jobs, boost the North Country’s economy, and have a ripple effect for businesses across the state.

“By working across party lines to find a way forward on this important bill, we have once again demonstrated our ability in the Granite State to make common-sense, bipartisan progress for our people and businesses. I would like to thank Senator Woodburn, Senate President Morse, Speaker Jasper and the entire North Country delegation for their efforts to pass this legislation, and I am proud to take another step forward for economic development in the Granite State by signing this bipartisan bill into law.”

Senate Bill 30 and the Balsams have been nothing but backroom deals to get a resort rebuilt that has fallen into such disrepair from the current owners that many or most of the buildings will be a total loss. The New Hampshire legislature shoved this bill through with some claiming “it was only fair” to allow unincorporated places (typically places with very few actual residents) to be able to get financing for private businesses.

Interesting that in the photo of Governor Hassan signing Senate Bill 30 is Les Otten. A man who doesn’t even live in New Hampshire but has pushed to have legislation that changes the laws in New Hampshire and who will have his pockets lined thanks to that change. Both Democrats and Republicans are responsible for the passage of this law. Meanwhile the taxpayers will be on the hook for their decision which was based on a lot of bogus rhetoric. Corporate welfare is alive and well in the “Live Free or Die” state.

Kimberly Morin is a political activist in the Granite State. She is a lifelong Independent who calls out both sides of the aisle when they screw up.