Gambling plan is a Hobson’s choice

To the editor:After the March 18 hearing on Senate Bill 519, a bill that would further cut Department of Health and Human Services spending, Senate President Sylvia Larsen, a Concord Democrat who previously opposed gambling, said she believes allowing expanded gambling is a better option than cutting services for the developmentally disabled. Thus, she and legislators were stampeded into a Hobson’s choice for new revenue – choose expanded gambling or none.Another Hobson’s choice is the “Pledge” to oppose any state sales or income tax. This “Pledge” to “ax” a broad-based sales or income tax is now Governor Lynch’s mellifluous “New Hampshire Advantage,” which still means “ax the tax.” The “Pledge” is never to discuss a broad-based state sales or income tax.If multimillionaire Governor Lynch’s gaming commission – whose report is due out in May – says yes to expanded gambling please do this:1. Ask lawmakers to discuss the state’s three narrowly based income taxes (the interest and dividends tax, the business profits tax and the business enterprise tax)2. Amend any gambling bill to repeal or rescind all three state income taxes3. Since Sen. Lou D’Allesandro’s gambling gig won’t be ready for a couple of years, and the state needs new revenue now, amend the gambling bill to include a 3 to 5 percent broad-based income tax to pay for education and “bet” that Governor Lynch won’t veto it. Also vote to repeal or rescind the statewide property tax.I ask lawmakers to use political courage, not political hostage-taking, to find new revenue.Kathryn Forry

Categories: Cook on Concord