We are all aware of the economic challenges facing our Communities, our State and our Nation. Today, your Federal elected officials are throwing money at this problem, in hopes that these financial “gifts” will provide a sufficient band-aid to take our eye off the real problems and solutions. These actions will not solve our local economic challenges. Our current legislators are not offering any path to financial confidence and stability. More and more people are being laid off and more and more business owners and families are being squeezed financially through higher taxes, fees and regulations.
Our economy in New Hampshire will only rebound when everyone has a job and the confidence of keeping it. Our legislators need to understand that just raising taxes and fees will not return us to economic prosperity. We need to get people back to work and those currently employed need to have the confidence to participate in the economy.
Fortunately, I believe the residents of New Hampshire are a resilient, strong people who can rise to this challenge. There are many things we can do, starting today, to turn around our economy.
We need to encourage employers, who may be questioning an increase to staff, expansion or investment in a new equipment, to make that commitment. And we want them to do it in New Hampshire.
I am asking our elected State Officials to enact legislation that will encourage businesses to hire additional employees or commit to expansion in our State. This can be done, through an array of incentive programs like focusing on a meaningful credit to the BET or the BPT, or a temporary reduction in the State portion of property taxes. Despite the news, there are jobs available today and companies who want to expand. In the past few months, I have spoken with many companies around our State that currently have employment openings and/or want to expand. Fortunately they are exploring options, but unfortunately some also have options out of our State. As our Country goes through this temporary economic retraction, New Hampshire needs to be the State that can attract and retain companies. We need to create local jobs, provide confidence and expand the economic base of New Hampshire. These actions solve problems, not cover them up.
Not only do we have to retain and expand our current employers; we also have to be more aggressive in bringing new businesses to our State. The long term benefits of new employers paying strong wages is worth the short term temporary relief of some State fees. Our current State government is doing a poor job at this. Really, when is the last time you heard of a new large company coming to New Hampshire, offering good employment that someone can raise a family on?
Some of the typical nay-Sayers will shout that this is not the time to reduce any taxes and fees. But I ask, what is better today, employed people who have the ability to contribute to our economy with the confidence of their jobs, or people out of work getting smaller subsidies through government assistance? The overall positive economic offset of an employed person far outweighs the State benefit of receiving just another incremental tax.
With reasonably secure jobs, people have the confidence invest in their future and the future of our State.