SPONSORS: Rep. Wallner, Merr. 10; Rep. Martin, Hills. 23; Rep. Fothergill, Coos 1; Rep. K. Murray, Rock. 24; Rep. Altschiller, Rock. 19; Rep. McBeath, Rock. 26; Rep. Wazir, Merr. 17; Rep. McMahon, Rock. 7; Rep. Luneau, Merr. 10; Rep. Le, Rock. 31; Rep. Loughman, Rock. 21; Sen. Fuller Clark, Dist 21; Sen. Rosenwald, Dist 13
The Democrats have taken over the New Hampshire House and Senate, and without missing a beat, they have that imposes a new tax on business. Not totally new, actually. A nearly identical bill, ‘HB628’ was introduced by Democrats and a few Republicans last year. The bill passed the House but did not pass the Senate. Pro-freedom groups and individuals throughout New Hampshire helped pressure the Senators enough to make sure that our taxes did not increase. The Liberty Block wrote numerous articles raising awareness about the new tax, reaching over 20,000 people with our articles on social media. Now that the Democrats have taken large majorities in the House and Senate, they have confidently reintroduced this new tax.
The new bill is HB712, (and an identical bill in the Senate called SB1) and it creates a new 0.5% increase in the payroll tax (read: income tax) on all private businesses. At this point, you may think that this bill could not possibly pass in the ‘Live Free or Die’ state of New Hampshire; the state with the lowest taxes in the US. The Democrats know that creating new taxes can be difficult. That’s why they’re utilizing all of their best propaganda terms in order to grow their own power and influence. The bill mentions the term ‘child’ six times, ‘birth’ twice, ‘family’ 30 times, ‘health’ eight times, ‘medical leave’ 27 times, and it mentions other words that summon emotional – rather than logical – responses from citizens.
The bill establishes a program that a few states (CA, WA, NY, NJ, RI) have recently created, called ‘Family Medical Leave Insurance’. The basic methodology of FMLI is that it seems to augment unemployment insurance, and it is funded with the same type of tax, a payroll tax. If this bill passes, every non-government employer in New Hampshire will be forced by law to give 50 cents to the government each time it pays any employee $100. This money would be held by the New Hampshire government. Because this tax would make payroll costs increase, businesses will be forced to either increase prices on consumers, lay off workers, or cut spending on salaries and/or products. Make no mistake; this bill is anti-business and anti-worker.
Employees in New Hampshire who have a qualifying leave from work, such as a birth, illness, injury, or those who are caring for a relative who might be sick or injured may file for the FMLI benefit.
House Bill 712 has a socialist element to it, just like HB628 did. You see, when you give the government your money, it’s based on a percentage of your salary – meaning that higher earners would pay more money. When the government returns the money to you, however, it is not purely proportional to your salary. The bill states that “no such calculation of FMLI benefits shall be less than $125 per week or greater than 0.85 of the average weekly wage in New Hampshire.” This wealth redistribution means that those who earn more than 85% of employees in New Hampshire are hit especially hard by this bill. Conversely, those who earn less than $160 per week benefit immensely from this bill. This is a classic example of socialism/redistribution of wealth/stealing from the rich and giving to the poor. HB628 had the exact same provision. It was one of the reasons that the public realized that the FMLI program created by this bill would be unsustainable.
The bill seems to mention that the only way a person or a business could be exempt from paying this tax is if the business already provides this exact same ‘benefit’. Keep in mind that once this program is established, the tax rate could easily be increased by lawmakers, and the difficult ‘opt-out’ could disappear entirely. Last year, the FMLI proposal was initially pitched as ‘only a half of one percent of wages’. By the time it reached the Senate, the tax increase was two thirds of one percent. That’s a 33% increase in the new tax before it even passed into law!
Unlike the previous version, this bill goes into effect immediately after the governor signs it. HB628 was set to take effect at the start of the next calendar year.
This bill is likely to pass because it has very strong support from the majority party. If you do not want a new tax, a new government program, and a growth in government power, start calling and emailing your legislators immediately.
The bill was retained for the 2020 session and passed the Democratic House again on 1/8.