How to Improve the Economy
While the economy of New Hampshire is not as bad off as some other states, and our housing market is back up (even a seller's market this year), and job growth is happening - we are still not where we need to be. Many of those who are unemployed are not counted in the unemployment lists due to being out of work for too long. But how can we improve? With so many companies outsourcing their jobs to cheaper countries and the cry for increased minimum wages, what can we do to promote more jobs?
There are a couple of industries we need to support and recognize as a state, make the state a place where these types of companies would want to come and settle and build their industries:
- Technology companies - these innovative companies have the high-paying jobs that we need and as the future spins towards technological advancement, putting some of those here in our state would boost the employment rate, the median income of families, and put NH back on the map.
- Agriculture - we need to support more of our agricultural development. Local food and produce is cheaper than food that we have to ship in from Mexico and innovation in the farming industry can bring more of this to our state, even in cold weather. Green Houses, fresh-water fish farming, and heritage seed collection has made it more possible to have year round agriculture in colder climates like ours. In a study done in 2015, more young people are preferring to go into farming now than in many years. Boosting our agricultural business would lower local shopping prices, increase health benefits (fresh produce), and increase the job market while at the same time, keeping the beauty of our rural towns.
- Small Business & entrepreneurs - there can be no doubt that the number one source of income in this state is through small business. We need to make sure that our tax benefits to small business and entrepreneurs are easy to understand and available for all
- NH Research and Development Tax Credit - this is for businesses to receive a credit towards their research and development costs for up to 5 years (a credit against taxes paid).
- Economic Revitalization Zone Tax Credit - this is a short term credit for projects that will improve the infrastructure and create jobs in specifically designated locations
- Coos County Job Creation Tax Credit - This credit is for businesses that hire new, full-time positions paying 200% higher than the minimum wage.
Tax incentives I'd like to propose:
- Living Wage Tax Credit - This credit would be for any business in the state based on the number of in-state employees earning more than 300% the minimum wage
- Made in NH Tax Credit - This credit would apply to businesses that purchased their inventory from other in-state companies (keeping the money-flow in state)
and insure that all line-items on the budget that I would present to the State Congress are well founded and appropriate. For all areas that are questionable such as requests from state departments that are not clear and defined, the dollar amount requested would be questioned and would need to be justified by the requestor. The worst thing in my mind is to receive requests for money from state offices that have no justification for the amount being requested. Another thing that we would need to stop at the state level are bills for the sake of saying we wrote a bill. While the State Senators and Representatives are an amazing volunteer resource, the cost of writing and passing a bill still exists. We should be looking at existing bills before writing a new one. Why isn't the existing bill working? Can we fix it instead? Also, writing a bill to get on the good side of the public and be able to say "Look, I wrote a bill that is going to help stop child abuse" when all you did was put the words "and child abuse prevention education" into a bill about how schools need to teach health education is more about getting re-elected than actually stopping child abuse. If a bill is going to be written and enforced, make it something with substance that actually makes a change. I mean for those people who don't read the bills it is a nice touchy-feely thing to know your governor signed a bill regarding child abuse prevention, but if you are one of those people (like me) who reads the content of the bill, it still feels like a waste of money since nothing really changed..