Revenue reform is the answer
To the editor:
Rep. Mary Jane Wallner (“Children in need caught in a perfect storm,” May 26-June 8 NH Business Review) does an admirable job explaining the problems currently facing New Hampshire’s children in need. These problems are real, they are serious, and they need to be addressed.
When it comes to solutions however, Representative Wallner can only tell us that they won’t be easy.
Through no fault of her own, Rep. Wallner’s hands are tied when it comes to solutions. To solve the problems facing our children, the state must spend more money. It must pay foster parents more; it must hire more staff at DCYF; it must spend more on treatment for those suffering from opioid addiction.
To spend more money though, the state must raise more money, and this is where the real problem lies.
New Hampshire’s system of raising revenue is maxed out. All our tax rates are high and can go no higher. Look at any of our taxes, whether it is the business taxes, the rooms and meals tax or the interest and dividends tax, and you will see rates that are high compared to other states. They can go no higher without damaging our economy.
If we want to raise even a small amount of additional money to address the problems laid out by Representative Wallner, or indeed any of the other problems confronting us at this moment, we need revenue reform. Such reform will have to include a broad-based tax.
Revenue reform is the real, underlying problem facing our state — the problem that must be solved before all others.
Rep. Paul Henle
Concord Ward 2