My "For Re-Election" Letter; August 14, 2014

additional commentary by Rep. Timothy Horrigan; August 20, 2014

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On August 14, 2014, my local paper, the Dover (NH) Foster's Daily Democrat ran the following letter under the rather unimaginative title "For Re-Election."

Original URL:

For Re-Election

To the editor: We have two recent transplants from other states running for higher office here in New Hampshire this year: US Senate candidate Scott Brown (from Massachusetts) and gubernatorial candidate Walt Havenstein (from Maryland.) Both of them have wrongly claimed that their opponents want to destroy the New Hampshire Advantage. There are many definitions of the New Hampshire Advantage. But, Brown and Havenstein share their fellow Republicans' consensus that this means preserving our current tax structure with some of the highest business and property taxes in the country, even though the overall tax burden is a little below the nationwide average. Our current tax structure also famously lacks broad-based sales or income taxes, although we do have a fairly high 9% rooms and meals tax, and we also have an interest and dividends tax.

Brown and Havenstein's personal histories both show that there is more to life than avoiding taxes. Brown and Havenstein both chose to own second homes in New Hampshire rather than some other state with lower property taxes. (Admittedly, they did choose communities — Rye and Alton respectively — with relatively low tax rates.) They also both chose to live and work in states with a broad-based income tax. Havenstein even accepted a transfer in the mid-2000s from New Hampshire to Maryland, even though that meant subjecting himself to a 5.75% state income tax (plus a county tax.) 

My own personal history also shows that there is more to life than avoiding taxes, since I chose in 2001 to move back to my old hometown of Durham, which has one of the higher property tax rates in the state. If I am re-elected to the New Hampshire House (and I am working very hard to make that happen), one of my priorities in the next two years will be to find ways to reduce our state's excessive dependence on the local property tax.

State Rep. Timothy Horrigan


Gov. Steve Merrill introduces @Walt4NH as next governor of New Hampshire, speaks about need to restore NH Advantage

— James Sununu (@jsununu) April 16, 2014

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