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Thursday, October 22, 2009

Live Blogging the Tax Summit- Alex Ray

Alex Ray- Owner, the Common Man restaurants.

Ray says that growing up in New Jersey, he always looked forward to visiting New Hampshire, and now he wants to protect those values.

He says the hospitality industry caters not only to out of state visitors, but also to people living here. He says New Hampshire has to protect its assets, like its lakes, seacoast, as well as its lifestyle and environment.

Ray also says minimal gambling is an asset that needs to be protected. He says when we go down the road of taxation, the first priority should be protecting what we have.

Ray says leaning towards an income tax is scary because of the loopholes, which mean the top and bottom are subsidized by the middle. And he says a sales tax would be more regressive than we can calculate, since it would discourage people from coming to New Hampshire. He says done right, an income tax would be the fairest way to go.

On property taxes, Ray says they aren't so bad, but they are inequitable. He says taxing property may providing an incentive to not improve their property. He says business taxes aren't that bad, as long as they are kept in check.

He says New Hampshire is held in the highest esteem by those who live here, and those who visit. He warns the Committee "don't sell our soul to fund ourselves."

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