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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Live Blogging the Tax Summit- K. Mark Primeau

K. Mark Primeau- President and CEO of Laconia Savings Bank

Primeau argues that New Hampshire's low tax structure and business friendly environment set it apart from its neighboring states. He says along with natural beauty and other lifestyle factors, it's why people and business choose to locate in the Granite State. He reiterates that "All of our suffer from high unemployment, relatively lower levels of business activity, and much, much higher taxes."

Primeau says that New Hampshire is at a dangerous crossroads. He points out that the 2008 General Fund totaled $1.5 billion, up from $1.2 billion just five years before. He argues that the business community had borne the greatest burden of that 25% increase in General Fund spending. In 2003, the BET and BPT made up 19% of the General Fund. In 2008, that percentage jumped to 26%, increasing total business taxes from $229 million to $388 million.

Primeau warns against any form of sales or income tax, and argues "strongly against any increase in the Business Profits Tax or the Business Enterprise Tax. We should also continue the current system of providing a BET credit against the BPT."

Primeau concludes by saying that New Hampshire will only maintain its advantage by controlling spending, maintaining a business friendly regulatory environment, and returning to the days of a fiscally conservative state with a business friendly tax structure.

"We can continue to spend beyond our means, or we can take the fiscally conservative and responsible path, which will ensure that New Hampshire retains its rank as one of the most desirable states in our country."

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