FACT CHECK: Hassan Ad touting tax cuts as governor doesn’t match record
Granite State political watchers are scratching their heads at Senator Maggie Hassan’s latest TV ad bragging that as governor she ‘balanced state budgets while cutting taxes to create new jobs’ .
The ad ends with Hassan saying, “I endorsed this message because fiscal responsibility is the New Hampshire way.”
Perhaps, critics say; but when she was at the State House, that was certainly not Hassan’s way.
Republican lawmakers who worked with Hassan while she was Senate Majority Leader and state governor point to a record of support for tax increases — including an income tax — and opposition to budgets from the GOP with tax cuts.
“If Maggie Hassan ever cut a tax it was only because her arm was twisted,” said Senator Sharon Carson (R-Londonderry), who was first elected to the state Senate in 2008 .
It’s true that as a senator, the first-term Democrat was praised by organizations such as the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget for backing some bipartisan fiscal restraint measures in the US Senate. And she was named the “most bipartisan U.S. senator of 2021” by the Lugar Center, named after the late moderate GOP Senator Richard Lugar.
But it’s also true that she voted against the 2017 GOP tax cuts, which saved the average Granite State taxpayer about $1,400 a year and was followed by strong tax growth. ‘use. The COVID lockdowns put an end to that.
Four years later, Hassan was an enthusiastic supporter of President Joe Biden’s two major spending bills. She voted for the $1.9 trillion U.S. bailout, which only passed the Senate by a 50-49 vote – making her (as the announcements repeatedly point out). GOP attack) “the deciding vote” — and the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill, which passed the Senate with a 69-30 vote.
With 70% of Americans saying they are unhappy with the way the Biden administration is handling inflation and the economy, it makes sense for Hassan to focus on his record at the state level. However, this record is also problematic.
Republicans have previously raised the issue of Hassan’s gas tax hike which she signed into law in 2014. But her tax and spending record is much broader than the gas tax. .
LLC income tax
While the majority leader in the state Senate, Hassan supported extending the tax on interest and dividend income to LLCs as well. Since many LLCs are simply individuals doing business as sole proprietors, the impact has been a direct income tax on thousands of Granite Staters.
Worse, critics say, Hassan rammed the deal through a budget conference committee late on the last night of budget talks without public discussion or debate. The tax was hugely unpopular, and Democratic Governor John Lynch signed off on its repeal less than a year later.
In fact, the tax was so unpopular that during his 2012 gubernatorial campaign, Hassan claimed at a Business and Industry Association-sponsored candidate forum that the LLC tax had the group’s support. This prompted a correction from the BIA, which said it “did not support or play any role in the design of the so-called ‘LLC tax'”.
$100 million in new taxes and fees
In 2015, then governor. Hassan proposed a budget that would increase taxes and fees by $100 million. When the free market organization Americans for Prosperity-New Hampshire published an advertisement making this claim, Hassan denied that it was true. The left-leaning Politifact website checked it and confirmed its accuracy. “Overall, we find the correct statement.”
“Hassan takes a strong stand against corporate tax cuts.”
That same year, she vetoed a budget bill passed by the Republican-controlled Legislature, largely because of the tax cuts in the proposal which she said would “create a hole of more than 90 millions of dollars in future budgets. As the AP’s headline said at the time, “Hassan takes a strong stand against corporate tax cuts.”
After the veto, the state pursued the resolutions for several months that year and Hassan did not negotiate with Republican legislative leaders, New Hampshire GOP state Rep. Ken Weyler (R-Kingston) recalled. about the budget fight.
“We let her allies, who discovered that the new programs they were waiting for would now be delayed for several months, put the pressure on her.”
Several Democratic lawmakers voted with Republicans to override the governor’s vetoes, which essentially got her off the hook, Weyler said. And so it’s technically true that she “balanced the budget while cutting taxes,” but only after a long budget battle that she lost.
“She didn’t like the idea of corporate tax cuts, so we put in a trigger as a compromise,” Carson said. “She and the Democrats hammered at us about the revenue that would be lost. She was adamant about it.
And what happened when the tax cuts came into effect? “Revenues have skyrocketed,” Carson said.