Virus Outbreak New Hampshire (copy)

A masked server delivers lunch to a table May 18, 2020, at a restaurant in Manchester, N.H.

(The Center Square) – As New Hampshire looks to advance economic recovery from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, a new bill seeks to continue a tax reduction plan for businesses.

SB 13, which is sponsored by Senate President Chuck Morse, R-Salem, would decrease the business profits tax (BPT) from 7.7 percent to 7.5 percent, and the business enterprise tax (BET) from 0.675 percent to 0.5 percent.

While the business profits tax largely applies to the relatively few multinational corporations operating in New Hampshire, the business enterprise tax affects roughly 90 percent of the state’s thousands of small businesses, Bruce Berke, New Hampshire state director at the National Federation of Independent Business, told The Center Square.

“It’s really important that the BET reduction move forward,” Berke said. “It began through legislation passed by Gov. [Maggie] Hassan in 2015 and was continued by Gov. [Chris] Sununu.

“The reductions were stalled during the budget debate in 2019, and then due to revenue amounts during COVID, so this picks up where we were and really allows the BET to be reduced at the same rate as the BPT.”

The BPT has 20 percent to go to get to its planned reduction. With Republicans in the majority in the Statehouse again, the momentum appears to be in its favor, though opposition is expected.

“The average business pays more in property taxes than state business taxes. Twice as much more,” Rep. Susan Almy, D-Lebanon, former chairwoman of the House Ways and Means committee, told the Concord Monitor.

The measure has been heard by the House Ways and Means committee and a vote could be on the agenda.

“I think the key takeaway is the state of New Hampshire has always been the beacon of reasonable business regulation and taxation in the Northeast, and these actions further reflect that,” Berke said.