My flip: The unsuitable priorities

Published: 07/03/2021 8:00:06 AM

It is said that your decisions reveal your priorities, and the budget decisions signed by Governor Sununu last week set out the priorities of the Republican majority. The state budget is about more than tax and spending cuts. It's about the future we want for our state and its citizens. Unfortunately, the budget is an inverted Robin Hood, with the state giving huge tax cuts to wealthy citizens and affluent corporations outside the state while ignoring our neediest.

Who will benefit from it? Rich investors. That budget includes $ 10 million in tax dollars, our hard earned dollars to compensate for the ruthless investors involved in the financial resource management Ponzi program. These investors failed to do their own due diligence before investing millions of dollars in a get-rich-quick program. Now they blame the state for their losses and expect the state to compensate them. Nowhere in this county has taxpayer money been used to compensate investors in the Ponzi scheme. This misuse of our tax dollars will be the first public payout for Ponzi investors.

But there's more, a godsend for a small group of wealthy investors. The budget plans to abolish interest and dividend taxes. Nine out of every ten dollars of this tax break goes to the top 20% of earners and half of the allowance goes to just 209 taxpayers, the top 1% of income earners. If the Republicans wanted to benefit retail investors, they could have simply raised the tax liability threshold. What a gift to the rich!

Big corporations have even better luck ahead. The reduction in corporate income tax will go to a small group of mostly foreign companies. Only 5% of applicants pay 95% of the BPT and only 76 applicants pay half of all BPT. The majority would have you believe that by lowering corporate taxes, we are growing our small businesses in the states. The reality is that small businesses are not the real beneficiaries, and this tax cut is not going to do business or destroy it. This reduction in our main source of income is nothing more than a giveaway for major donors and a topic of conversation in the next elections.

Meanwhile, the priorities in this budget ignore the basic needs of thousands of our citizens. The $ 5 million annually spent reimbursing ruthless investors could be used to provide dental care to Medicaid recipients. Funds could have been sent to cities and towns to lower property taxes for education, invest in infrastructure, or meet many other unmet needs. Despite cutting hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue and closing the year with $ 161 million in the Rainy Day fund, Republicans said they just don't have the money.

The state budget is about priorities. This Republican budget prioritizes 209 major investors. It prioritizes 76 large companies. It prioritizes major political donors. It prioritizes Republican topics of conversation. And all while we play Robin Hood with our taxpayers money. These are not the priorities or the future that the Democrats would choose for our state.

(Mary Beth Walz is an NH State representative. She lives in Bow.)