Saturday, March 13, 2010

Live Free or Die?

Let me count a few more reasons why the living may not be so free in NH, a state which I happen to love by the way, which is frequently pointed to as an idyllic model of limited government.

First OPINION from an on line chat:
Actually, NH DOES have a revenue shortfall problem (NOT a spending problem) because it cannot meet its fiscal obligations such as maintaining the present-day highways & roads, etc.; paying for its share of the minimally poor "adequate education" costs; paying for its share of municipal and county government operating costs; paying for its share of the NHRS costs; paying for its share of operating the correctional facilities (had to close the Laconia facility due to lack of sufficient funds); paying its share of the maintenance and repair/reconstruction of bridges (especially those on the red list); paying for its share of the courts' system costs (employees had to take furlough days, personal sacrifices, just to balance that portion of the state budget; paying for its share of maintaining and repair of the several hundred state owned dams in NH; paying for its share of the costs to abutters of the Suncook River who were adversely impacted three and fours years ago; paying for its share of the many, many other statutory obligations; etc.
No Ron, NH lacks sufficient revenue, which is another way of saying the problem is the reverse of spending too much. It does not have enough money to spread around. Therefore, people make and continue to make sacrifices just so the politicians can continue to fail to do their job correctly.
- Gary, Chichester

Next those annoying things called Facts:

NH Real Estate Transfer Tax
1.5% on the sales of land and buildings. In other words, I buy a house in NH, then the tax is imposed on both the buyer and the seller at the rate of $.75 per $100 of the price for the sale, granting, or transfer. I buy a $300,000, then I pay $2250 as the buyer and the seller pays $2250.

Meals and Rentals Tax

An 9% tax is assessed upon patrons of hotels and restaurants, on rooms and meals costing $.36 or more. An 9% tax is also assessed on motor vehicle rentals and campsites. Hmm, that seems to be higher than the current MA meals tax of 6.25%.

Property Tax
Hey, they even have State Education Property Tax, which is a state education property tax rate of total equalized valuation which is assessed on all New Hampshire property owners. The tax is assessed and collected by local municipalities.
Then click on the Word Document "2009 Property Tax Rates"

Good thing you don't live in Exeter NH or you'd be paying a rate of (based on $1,000 value of home) :
  • Town Tax $6.63
  • Local Education Tax $12.60
  • State Education Tax $2.37
  • County Tax $1.02
  • Total Tax $22.62
So leaving aside the question of how correct the assessments are:
  • if you owned a $400,000 home in Newburyport which has a rate of $11.66, you'd pay $4,664 in annual property tax
  • if you owned a $400,000 home in Exeter which has a rate of $22.62, you'd pay $9,048.
I saved you the hassle of sorting through the Word document and dumped the data into Excel (which I'm happy to email it to anyone) to make sense of it.

  • Median Town Tax $4.14
  • Median Local Education Tax $9.17
  • Median State Education Tax $2.26
  • Median County Tax $1.38
  • Median Total Tax $18.28
Hey I'm not saying Massachusetts residents are taxed less, but the notion that NH residents pay next to nothing in taxes is ridiculous. Remember that the next time you pay at the Hampton tolls;-).


Newburyport's Voice said...

Hi Ed,

New Hampshire was rated as the US state with the most economic and personal freedoms in the country by George Mason University.

New Hamshire was rated 1st of 50 in Fiscal Freedom. Mass was 23rd out of 50.

New Hampshire was rated 18th in Regulatory Freedoms. Mass was 43rd of 50.

New Hampshire was rated 2nd in Economic Freedoms. Mass was 37th out of 50.

New Hampshire was 13th in Personal Freedoms. Mass was 44th out of 50.

I believe this is the reasoning behind the motto "Live Free or Die"

Oh and don't forget that they have no sales tax and state income tax.:)

I thought I might add a few thoughts to the discussion.


Ed Cameron said...

Thanks Larry,


Overall State for Business (Basically a sum of all the other rankings):
MA 8
NH 21

Cost of Business:
MA 40
NH 34

MA 26
NH 30

Quality of Life:
MA 6
NH 1

MA 12
NH 14

MA 31
NH 47

Technology and Innovation:
MA 5
NH 31

MA 1
NH 5

Business Friendliness:
MA 17
NH 9

Access to Capital:
MA 2
NH 30

Cost of Living:
MA 36
NH 40

Newburyport's Voice said...

It is great to see New Hampshire rated #1 in "Quality of Life".

Limited Government and increased Personal Freedoms makes life better. :)

Hey Ed, have you heard of the free state project?

Check it out.

These folks are very active in attracting small government lovers to relocate in NH.

They are turning New Hampshire back into a Red State!!

Thanks for the post. It was fun chatting.


Anonymous said...

Interesting numbers on both sides. But here is what I don't understand: If you love NH and it's way of life so much, Larry, why don't you live there?