Energy credit moves on to House

The New Hampshire Senate last week approved a bill to grant a one-time tax credit of half of a company’s energy costs — capped at $500 – against the Business Enterprise Tax, sending it on to the House.

Since the state has a surplus of some $40 million, Senate Finance Committee Chair Chuck Morse, R-Salem, wanted to give some $18 million back to small businesses suffering from high energy costs.

The bill would benefit 47,000 small businesses, according to a fiscal note attached to the measure.

Morse and his Republicans beat back an amendment supported by Democrats to replace the credit with a more targeted tax break of $500 to business start-ups that did not make a profit. That tax giveback would amount to no more than $500,000, said Lou D’Alessandro, D-Manchester, who sponsored the floor amendment

It is unfair to give a tax credit to large profitable businesses, Democrats argued.

But Morse argued that the amended bill would ignore existing small businesses that may need the money even more.

“It doesn’t go far enough,” said Morse. “We should go all the way.”

The Senate defeated the amendment on a party-line 16-8 roll call vote and passed the bill on a voice vote. – BOB SANDERS

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