Currently, HB 628 sits in the House Commerce and Consumer Affairs committee. This bill claims to be a government-run Family and Medical Leave insurance bill, but it is actually an income tax bill.
The bill places a 0.5% tax on income for those who do not opt-out. The opt-out provision is deceptive at best, and fraudulent at worst. Those who want to opt-in do absolutely nothing; those who want to avoid the tax must obtain the services of a notary in order to do so.
You can opt-in anytime you like, but you can only opt-out when you begin employment, and never after that. This is the case even if the tax rate exponentially increases. Any company that tried to implement this type of opt-out system would likely be punished by the FTC for deceptive trade practices.
The supporters of this bill know that it is unsustainable. If even a modest percentage of people opt-out, it will not be able to fund itself. Therefore, there will be a push to either remove the opt-out, making it a mandatory income tax, or increase the tax rate. Or more likely, they will push for both.
The imposition of an income tax in New Hampshire will repel workers who might otherwise come to our wonderful state. Most states that have set up this scheme, including New York, are losing workers, not gaining them.
This is an awful bill. It is deceptive, it will lead to a full-fledged mandatory income tax, it will repel workers from the state, and it will damage New Hampshire’s economic future. I urge all of New Hampshire’s residents to call their representatives and tell them to kill HB 628.
Chip Spangler is a resident of central Manchester. At various times, he has worked as a computer technician, academic tutor, semi-professional musician, and paramedic.
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