Senate Finance Committee rejects House-approved tax hikes

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Senate Finance Committee rejects House-approved tax hikes

Post  fshnski on Wed May 22, 2013 7:07 am

CONCORD — Today's House vote on a Senate-passed bill to allow casino gambling comes the day after the Senate Finance Committee rejected about $53 million in House-approved tax increases and released a list of Health and Human Service spending reductions.

The committee voted 4-2 down party lines to reject a 20-cent-a-pack increase in the tobacco tax, which would produce $40 million during the biennium and a two-year delay in business tax credits for the state to save $13 million.

By the same vote, the committee rejected a 12-cent increase in the gasoline tax over three years that was included in the House-passed budget.

The House votes today on Senate Bill 152 to allow one casino with up to 5,000 video slot machines and 150 table games. Budget writers agree the casino will not produce revenue for the upcoming biennium, but could provide the state with $80 million in revenue from a licensing fee that Gov. Maggie Hassan included in her budget.

Hassan has pushed for the bill telling lawmakers the money is needed for critical needs like higher education, the mental health system and the Children in Need of Services program.

http://www.unionleader.com/article/20130522/NEWS06/130529771

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Re: Senate Finance Committee rejects House-approved tax hikes

Post  News Hawk on Wed May 22, 2013 8:53 am

fshnski wrote:"...Hassan has pushed for the bill telling lawmakers the money is needed for critical needs like higher education, the mental health system and the Children in Need of Services program..."
With the Tea Party neutralized by IRS' illegal improprieties, Hassan should have no trouble getting re-elected, so why is opposition attacking Kelly Ayotte—whose term runs for another three years? Do the One-Party Stalinists have too much money?

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Re: Senate Finance Committee rejects House-approved tax hikes

Post  fshnski on Wed May 22, 2013 4:32 pm

CONCORD — Today's House vote on a Senate-passed bill to allow casino gambling comes the day after the Senate Finance Committee rejected about $53 million in House-approved tax increases and released a list of Health and Human Service spending reductions.

The committee voted 4-2 down party lines to reject a 20-cent-a-pack increase in the tobacco tax, which would produce $40 million during the biennium and a two-year delay in business tax credits for the state to save $13 million.

By the same vote, the committee rejected a 12-cent increase in the gasoline tax over three years that was included in the House-passed budget.

The House votes today on Senate Bill 152 to allow one casino with up to 5,000 video slot machines and 150 table games. Budget writers agree the casino will not produce revenue for the upcoming biennium, but could provide the state with $80 million in revenue from a licensing fee that Gov. Maggie Hassan included in her budget.

Hassan has pushed for the bill telling lawmakers the money is needed for critical needs like higher education, the mental health system and the Children in Need of Services program.

The House vote is expected to be close. The House has never approved casino gambling, although the Senate has done so a number of times.

Spending cuts

The Senate, which is crafting its version of the state $11 billion two-year operating budget, has passed SB 152 but the finance committee has not included the $80 million in its budget and won't unless the House passes it, according to committee Chairman Sen. Chuck Morse, R-Salem, and a sponsor of SB 152.

Instead Morse has said the Senate will cut spending to make up the difference if the House does not pass the casino bill.

Morse released a list of $28 million potential reductions in health and human service programs Tuesday which include $4 million to reduce the developmentally disabled wait-list for services. The reduction represents about 25 percent reduction in the money Hassan and the House included in the budget to eliminate the wait-list.

Other reductions in House-approved spending include $3 million for community health centers and $4 million of the $24 million increase Hassan included for the mental health system, which is the subject of a lawsuit brought by patients and the federal government.

Morse's plan would also delay the restarting of the CHINS program which was eliminated in the last biennium budget except for about 50 of the most at-risk individuals who are a threat to themselves or others.

http://www.unionleader.com/article/20130522/NEWS06/130529771

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