On the same day pundit James Pindell said the New Hampshire gubernatorial race was off to a slow start, one Republican candidate offered up the most specific and detailed economic plan in recent memory. And it’s only the first piece of a four-part plan.
The other three parts of Kevin Smith’s “New Hampshire’s Future is Now” plan will be released in the coming weeks and months.
“Today, I’m issuing the first part of a four-part comprehensive plan to strengthen New Hampshire’s economy, create real and sustained job growth, and to improve the state’s fiscal condition,” said Smith. “New Hampshire can be a leader in the 21st Century economy.”
Smith’s plan calls for a gradual reduction in the state’s Business Profits Tax from 8.5% to 5% by 2020. According to the Tax Foundation, New Hampshire has one of the highest corporate tax rates in the country.
Smith would also cut the Business Enterprise Tax from .75% to .25% by 2020, while also eliminating it altogether for smaller and unprofitable companies.
“The last eight years have seen many obstacles to New Hampshire’s continued prosperity: higher taxes and fees; higher unemployment; higher cost of health care; a growing out-migration of young workers and college students; and a greater intrusion of government in our daily lives and economy,” said Smith. “I’m running for Governor to reverse these trends, place New Hampshire on a path toward prosperity, and to put into action a specific plan that will lead to greater job creation.”
Republicans responded positively to the plan and suggested it was light years ahead of Smith’s rival frontrunner Ovide Lamontagne’s relatively vague platform.
“Ovide isn’t talking about much other than the inevitability of his becoming governor someday soon,” one Republican official told NH Journal. “But Kevin appears to be taking the race, and us conservatives, more seriously.”
Smith also pledged to streamline state government and keep it “small, focused and efficient.”
“I will institute a system of metrics across every state department to measure their effectiveness as well as to gauge the taxpayers’ return on investment for specific programs,” Smith said.
Smith is a former State Representative and former top aide to Gov. Craig Benson. He most recently served as the President of Cornerstone Policy Research and Cornerstone Action. Other GOP candidates for governor include Lamontagne, a Manchester lawyer and businessman Steve Kenda. The Democrats are deciding between a pair of former State Senators who were voted out of office in 2010, Jackie Cilley and Maggie Hassan.