New Hampshire Democrat gubernatorial candidates have made one thing clear to voters this year: if elected, they will raise taxes on working families. Yesterday, former state legislator Molly Kelly announced she was forming an exploratory committee for the state’s gubernatorial race. But just like the Democrats’ only other declared candidate, Steve Marchand, Kelly’s record of supporting tax hikes proves she can’t be trusted to lead.
While in office in the state legislature, Kelly consistently voted in favor of raising taxes and fees in New Hampshire. Not only did Kelly vote in favor of Maggie Hassan’s gas tax hike in 2014, but she co-sponsored legislation to repeal the education tax credit program, which allows businesses to donate to a scholarship program and receive tax credits in exchange. Kelly also voted against allowing a ballot measure that would have prohibited hikes to the state’s income tax.
Like Steve Marchand, Molly Kelly would only seek to undo Governor Chris Sununu’s bipartisan, pro-jobs progress if elected. Her commitment to raising taxes on working New Hampshire families shows that she is unfit to lead the Granite State.
SUPPORTING GAS TAX HIKE
On May 20, 2014, Gov. Maggie Hassan signed Senate Bill 367, which effectively increased the state gas and diesel taxes by 4.2 cents per gallon to generate an estimated $32 million in revenue. “Gov. Maggie Hassan ‘s signing of Senate Bill 367, effectively increasing state gas and diesel taxes by 4.2 cents per gallon on Tuesday, May 20, elicited strong responses from both sides of the spectrum.” (Source: April Guilmet, “Hassan signs gas tax bill,” The Salem Observer, May 22, 2014)
On March 27, 2014, Kelly voted for Senate Bill 367. “On March 27, 2014, Kelly voted in favor of SB 367, a bill that would require the adjustment of the road toll according to changes in the Consumer Price Index, eliminating certain ramp tolls on the Everett turnpike in the town of Merrimack, and establishing a committee to study the effectiveness and efficiency of the department of transportation.” (Passed 15-9)( SB 367, Roll Call 40, 2014 Session, New Hampshire General Court, March 27, 2014)
REPEALING THE EDUCATION TAX CREDIT
Kelly co-sponsored legislation to repeal the education tax credit program – The program allows businesses to donate to a scholarship program and receive a business tax credit:
(HB 370, New Hampshire General Court, 2013 Session)
“A bill to repeal the state’s newly established education tax credit program did not find favor with the Senate Health, Education and Human Services Committee Tuesday… The committee voted 3-2 down party lines to kill House Bill 370, which is expected to come before the full Senate April 18… The new scholarship program allows businesses to donate and receive a business tax credit… The program had been praised as a way to ensure all children would receive the best education possible and decried as a back-door voucher plan that would take money away from public schools as private and religious schools cherry-pick the best and least expensive students to educate… After the vote, Sen. Molly Kelly, D-Keene, said while at a time of record budget cuts to public colleges and universities it is irresponsible to use public money to fund private schools… This bill repeals a private school voucher program that diverts public funds away from our public schools and directs private, nonprofit corporations to allocate taxpayer dollars with no oversight or accountability,’ said Kelly. ‘This so-called ‘education tax credit’ is in direct conflict with the N.H. Constitution by using public funds to pay for religious schools and limits state funds for public school districts, while downshifting the cost of reduced adequacy payments to local communities and property taxpayers.’… Under the program, students can receive up to a $2,500 scholarship to attend private or parochial schools. Home-schooled students can receive up to a $750 scholarship.” (Garry Rayno, “Senate panel votes 3-2 to keep education tax credit,” The Union Leader, April 9, 2013)
PROHIBITING PERSONAL INCOME TAX
On June 6, 2012, Kelly voted against adopting a conference report that would place the question of amending the state constitution to prohibit an assessment, rate, or tax on personal income on the November ballot. “Relating to prohibiting an assessment, rate, or tax on personal income. Providing that no assessment, rate, or tax on income earned by a natural person shall be levied by the state of New Hampshire except taxes in effect on January 1, 2012 and adjustments to the rate of such taxes.” (CACR 13, 2012 Regular Session, New Hampshire General Court)