Democratic Governor Hassan’s Veto May Soon See Companies And Jobs Fleeing New Hampshire

Democratic Governor Hassan’s Veto May Soon See Companies And Jobs Fleeing New Hampshire

Live free or . . . move to another state? That’s the question with which New Hampshire companies are grappling, as Democratic Governor Maggie Hassan vetoed a change to the state’s business tax structure that would’ve made New Hampshire friendlier to both large corporations and start-ups alike. Republican lawmakers are decrying the Governor’s decision as anti-business, and companies are concerned as well. The most public face of this ongoing tussle is Planet Fitness. The successful gym franchise, which is headquartered in New Hampshire, came to lawmakers in Mayrequesting a change in tax law. Essentially, the sought-after change would have prevented Planet Fitness from having to pay higher business-profits taxes when the company goes public (a move it is planning in the near future). Planet Fitness’ Director of Public Relations explained that the company had been in New Hampshire for 23 years and would like to stay in the state – but cautioned that “we are working with our advisors and board of directors to explore all options regarding the company’s future in the state.” Planet Fitness reported $279.8 million in total revenue for 2014 and operates about 980 clubs nationwide. Not wishing to play favorites, legislators broadened the bill to affect a variety of businesses, not just publicly held ones. If the bill would’ve made it off of Governor Hassan’s desk, it would have given businesses the opportunity to avoid paying higher taxes on particular gains in value. (If a business chose to not disclose its new value, it would miss out on future tax deductions.) Hassan rationalized her veto by saying that the business tax cuts would result...
PA Democrat Gov. Wolf’s Largest Tax Increase In History Rejected By Both Parties In The House 193-0

PA Democrat Gov. Wolf’s Largest Tax Increase In History Rejected By Both Parties In The House 193-0

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf displayed some serious short-sightedness when making his budget address last month. Pennsylvania literally sits atop an abundance of riches: the natural gas in the Marcellus Shale. Rather than leveraging that wealth in a way that would advantage all working Pennsylvanians, Governor Wolf wants to raise the severance tax on the national gas industry. Such a move would have a chilling effect on the state’s fastest-growing sector. Worse, it would drive jobs and workers out of Pennsylvania and into states that offer energy-boom upside without the high-tax downside. We’re not talking about something that solely affects energy tycoons and “one percenters.” A tax hike on the natural gas industry would set in motion a major loss of integral, supply-chain jobs that help the Pennsylvania middle class thrive. It would also take money that’s now being spent locally and suck it into the black hole that is the state general fund, giving residents far less say over how, where, and why their dollars are spent.  Governor Wolf’s plan does nothing to address the state’s real problem, which springs from the ever-deepening pension crisis. Instead, it makes significant changes to the state tax structure in order to raise an outlandish $4.6 billion in new state spending. In addition to the severance tax that’s essentially a disincentive to extract natural gas in Pennsylvania, the plan includes income- and sales-tax increases that harm workers across every income level. The Pennsylvania House of Representatives liked the governor’s proposal about as much as I do. The proposal failed by a 0-193 vote – not a single state lawmaker wanted to get behind...
Chicago To Apply 9% ‘Netflix Tax’

Chicago To Apply 9% ‘Netflix Tax’

There should be small print on “Welcome to Chicago” signs – something along the lines of “businesses and innovators not actually welcome.” With its recent, growth-killing hike of the minimum wage and its ever-looming $20 billion pension hole, the Windy City finds itself at a major competitive disadvantage. Mayor Rahm Emanuel and his Department of Finance just made matters worse with the introduction of new tax rules that will notably increase the cost of using popular streaming services like Netflix NFLX -3.28%, Hulu, and Spotify. Desperate for new revenue to fill its dwindling coffers, Chicago is applying a 9 percent tax to what official documents call “electronically delivered amusements” and “nonpossessory computer leases.” Together, this pair of new tax rules amount to a taxation on any city resident who accesses “the cloud” – a move that business owners, digital natives, and everyday consumers of streaming content are finding deeply troubling. These intentionally broad new tax rules affect more than just Chicagoans who want to stream their favorite show on Netflix or play a new album on Spotify. The 9-percent hike also applies to businesses that use could services, such as realtors who access real-time listings and attorneys who rely on Internet court databases. “This is one piece of a whole picture that impacts why business would not want to locate here,” said Michael Reever, vice president of government affairs at the Chicago Chamber of Commerce, in a recent interview with the Chicago Tribune. Going into effect September 1 and expected to generate $12 million annually, this new “cloud tax” is just the most recent example of Chicago politicians taking...
Texas-Sized Tax Cut: Governor Abbott Signs Total Relief Tax Package Of $3.8 Billion

Texas-Sized Tax Cut: Governor Abbott Signs Total Relief Tax Package Of $3.8 Billion

by Travis Brown When a state success story is as big as Texas’ is, the good news needs sharing beyond the immediate borders. When an already business-friendly state becomes even more hospitable to growth and innovation, that message needs to go worldwide. That’s exactly what Texas Governor Greg Abbott plans to do in the coming months. Already playing from a position of strength, the governor shored up Texas’ positive reputation even further this week, by securing a new business tax cut. In the legislative session that ended in Austin last week, legislators approved a 25 percent reduction in the state business franchise tax. Of course, this newly approved cut is not the only economic enticement luring new businesses to Texas. The Lone Star State levies no personal income tax and no corporate income tax. Additionally, the franchise (or “margins”) tax will be cut by $2.56 billion over the next two years, according to Governor Abbott. Texas is also making new investments in roads and education. In a legislative-session recap for reporters, the Governor told reporters, “When you consider what we achieved during this session, as well as the challenges other states are facing, I think we have a tremendous opportunity to capitalize on our current position.” Beginning in July, Abbott will begin a series of strategic trips around the United States and abroad, with the goal of closing economic development deals with corporate leaders. Rather than stick Texas taxpayers with the bill, Abbott will pay for the travel with money from the nonprofit TexasOne, a group that his gubernatorial predecessor (and now 2016 presidential hopeful) Rick Perry helped create....

Arthur Laffer has a never-ending supply of supply-side plans for GOP

By Jim Tankersley April 9 at 8:34 PM Arthur Laffer was waiting in the sun outside Terminal A of Reagan National Airport, smiling like the Gipper. It was 10:30 a.m., and he was just in from Nashville. In his briefcase were two papers he was eager to show off. One called minimum-wage laws a crime against black men. The other detailed all the ways liberal economists had been wrong about this economic recovery and Arthur Laffer had been right. No one has influenced Republican candidates’ thinking on the economy for the past four decades as much as Laffer, who is now 75. Laffer says he believes that limiting government and cutting tax rates, especially the rate levied on top earners, will unleash faster economic growth. Since he sold then-candidate Ronald Reagan on that prescription, every Republican presidential nominee has run on a Laffer-inspired economic platform. As the 2016 GOP primary season takes off, Laffer is more in demand than ever before, with Republican candidates embracing tax-cut-for-the-rich policies even as they bemoan economic inequality. Candidates have been meeting with him in recent weeks, and on Friday in Nashville, he says, his schedule includes Rick Perry at 10 a.m., Ben Carson at noon, Jeb Bush at 1:15 p.m. and Bobby Jindal at 5. Dinner is scheduled with Ted Cruz. He has already met at least once with Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker. For the first time in a generation, however, Laffer’s “supply-side” strategies are not going without question on the right. Some conservatives believe that America’s struggling middle class needs more targeted policies today than simply broad tax cuts, and that Republicans won’t win...