New Hampshire’s New Era – Send Us Your Corporate Rent-Seekers!

by Steve MacDonald

bribeOn May 31st, Gov. Sununu signed into law (along with 41 other bills) SB 564, an act introducing corporate rent seeking for special tax favors in the Granite State.

No, that’s not the actual title, but that’s what it does. It opens a new door to a new era into which lobbyists may stick their foot and their deep pockets to promote special tax treatment for their benefactors.

Concord is now no better than Washington, DC.

From Josiah Bartlett.

The bill exempts regenerative manufacturing businesses (those that manufacture organic human body parts) from state business taxation. That not being considered enough aid, it also creates a state “regenerative manufacturing workforce development program.” 

The development program involves the state business finance authority taking over the student debt of regenerative manufacturing industry employees. 

While I am concerned that Dean Kamen Inc. has the insider influence to leverage the legislature into giving him debt-free fresh-from college employees and a tax-free ride for the next ten years, I am more concerned that the State Legislature thinks it is actually bright enough to pick winners and losers in something as complex as a free market economy.

One that is slightly less free when elected officials put their thumb on the scale because they think they know better.

They don’t know better, and until this week the state had steered clear of corporate favoritism.

Until now, New Hampshire has always been able to reject corporate requests for special tax breaks by noting that we just don’t do that in this state. Instead, we encourage economic development by keeping tax rates low for everyone. 

This approach limits rent-seeking and keeps politicians from being able to distribute favors via the tax code to friends or politically favored industries. Allowing no exceptions to the rules is the only way to ensure equal opportunity for all, from the obscure and unconnected to the rich and famous. 

There have always been New Hampshire State Senators who are for sale. Especially those who run for higher office. But now the institution has put their sign out for all to see. We can be bought!

You can add House leadership, Party Leadership, and New Hampshire’s ruling class couldn’t be happier. Because one of the fastest ways to a complex irredeemable body of ‘professional’ politicians are loopholes that give them powers no ordinary citizen has.

SB564 did that, and now it’s law.

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