New Hampshire Senate backs recovery tax credit for businesses

75% credit would be provided to firms donating to recovery-friendly workplace programs

If your company donates to a substance abuse recovery program that works with employees you will get three-quarters of your money back in business tax relief, if the bill the NH Senate approved last week becomes law.

Senate Bill 563, which is currently in the Senate Finance Committee, would give a 75 percent credit against the business profits tax or business enterprise tax for donations made to the Community Development Finance Authority for recovery-friendly workplace initiatives.

The contributions would have to be made in the next biennium, from July 1, 2018 to June 30, 2020, and the credits may be carried forward for no more than five years.

The program, capped at $1 million in tax credits, would benefit “evidence-based practices that reduce substance misuse in the workplace and create work environments that are conducive to enabling persons in addiction and mental health recovery to sustain and re-enter the workforce as productive members of society.”

No one opposed the bill, though Sen. Martha Fuller Clark, D-Portsmouth, said she was disappointed that more businesses “were not stepping forward on their own.”

The bill is an example of a targeted tax break that some conservatives shun in principle but embrace when it comes to a program they strongly support.     

The Senate last week also passed SB 564, another example of a targeted break providing student loan forgiveness for those involved with the Advanced Regenerative Manufacturing Institute in Manchester.

The bill would help “make New Hampshire truly a hub” of a new industry sparked by entrepreneur and inventor Dean Kaman that is exploring ways to grow organs from human tissue.

The Senate passed the bill on a voice vote with the understanding that it would be more closely examined in the finance committee, but Sen. Jay Kahn, D-Keene questioned it.

“I don’t know how we select one industry over another,” he said.

On the other hand, the Senate fell short of passing SB 411, which, as originally written, completely lifted the cap on the research and development tax credit.

Instead, it amended the bill to leave the cap as is, but required that each applicant for the credit fill out a survey so the Senate can reassess the tax break. Last session, lawmakers voted to increase the cap from $2 million to $7 million. But in February, the House passed a bill that would roll the cap back to $2 million, using the money saved to increase the income exemption for individuals paying the interest and dividends tax.

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