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Thursday, October 22, 2009

Live Blogging the Tax Summit- Larry Kelly

Larry Kelly- Tri-County Community Action Program (CAP)

Kelly says there are lots of taxes in New Hampshire. He says there is a large, and frequently unrelated, reservoir of revenue sources, as well as continued discussion of new taxes, such as a sales tax, income tax, or energy tax.

Kelly says he will concentrate on fairness and utility of current taxes. He says property tax is not fair. He says its has outlived its usefulness as the major revenue source in New Hampshire. He says the property tax is unfair among communities with different amounts of property wealth, and unfair to lower, middle, and fixed income individuals. He says it does not account for accidents that can reduce a family's income, but not their tax burden.

He argues current reliance on property taxes should be changed, and major adjustments should be considered. Kelly says if a sales tax is considered, the Legislature should exempt essentials such as food, clothing, and housing necessities.

If an income tax is considered, which he says is a lot fairer than a property tax, it needs to be progressive. (Progressive tax rates are not allowed under New Hampshire's Constitution.) If environmental taxes are considered, it should reduce pollution and dependence on obsolescent fuels.

Kelly says "sin taxes" on cigarettes, alcohol, and gambling help deter undesired behavior. He would dedicate the revenue from alcohol taxes to mitigating the revenue from the harm alcohol causes.

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