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Entries in Tax Credits (3)

Tuesday
Jun262012

Carolyn McKinney - Education tax credit bill would improve students' chances of achieving prosperity

Education tax credit bill would improve students' chances of achieving prosperity
By Carolyn McKinney, chairman of the Republican Liberty Caucus of New Hampshire


Right now, businesses contribute about one quarter of the state's revenue in the taxes they pay, and coincidentally, public education comprises about one quarter of the state's costs.

Unfortunately, the money the state is now siphoning away from its most productive citizens is being redistributed to an education system that is failing our children. Even as the state has devoted more hard-earned dollars to government-run education, 71 percent of the state's public schools are in need of improvement, according to a report released by the State Department of Education in April. That doesn't bode well for the prospect of more productive citizens in years to come.

An education tax credit bill that passed the Legislature, but was vetoed by the governor, presents a real opportunity to change the way New Hampshire conducts the business of education. If the governor's veto is overridden by the Legislature, the bill would for the first time allow the free market to work in education—just a little bit—by giving children assigned to a failing public school a chance to attend a better school, whether it is a private school in their home town or a public school in a community nearby. This will forever improve these children's chances for a more productive and prosperous life.

The bill accomplishes this novel goal by letting businesses decide how they want to spend the money they earned, rather than government taking it from them and redistributing it without their input. That's part of the free market component to the idea, which gives businesses an opportunity to decide whether 100 percent of their Business Profits Tax or Business Enterprise Tax payments will continue to fund the broken public education system or whether they'd like up to 85 percent of that money to instead help financially strained parents send their children to a better school. Each business leader will have the opportunity to choose which course to pursue, and the state will actually save hundreds of thousands of dollars in the process, according to the State Department of Revenue.

Of the money that is ultimately collected on a first-come, first serve basis from participating businesses, an independent scholarship organization will determine which children receive help to attend the school of their parents' choice, based on various metrics. This is another part of the free market component of the bill. Schools that do a better job educating children will attract more students, and the students the schools attract will receive a better education at a lower cost. 

While each scholarship organization must give an average $2,500 scholarship to each student, the bill allows some children to receive greater than that amount and some less than that amount. This flexibility will help more parents make the decision to enroll their children in a better school and give them an opportunity they wouldn't have otherwise had. And as the program showcases its successes over the years, as similar programs have in at least eight other states, future Legislatures will have the data needed to expand these opportunities to even more children.

It's true, some communities could lose adequacy funding up to a fixed amount for their own public schools if several of their students receive scholarships to attend different schools, but therein lies yet one more free market component of the bill. Clearly, no school will want to lose students and the adequacy grants that go with them, so this bill will motivate failing schools to improve the quality of their education—without using additional money. On a small scale, the bill could create a situation where schools consistently improve relative to other schools to compete for students, all while keeping their costs low relative to other schools—again, to compete for students.  

Experience has shown that public schools will not improve simply because the state spends more money to educate students the same way we're educating them now. In fact, the quality of education has fallen as taxpayers have devoted more of their hard-earned money to the current system. The only way to successfully improve the quality of education is to change the dynamic of the system by allowing competition into the marketplace, and this education tax credit bill does just that. 

By overriding the governor's veto and providing children with real alternatives to poorly performing schools, school administrators at many of today's failing schools will necessarily change their focus from raising as many tax dollars as they can to producing a quality service that satisfies their customers. In this case, those customers will grow up better equipped with the knowledge and skills they'll need to be productive, and that will position them well to contribute to the educational excellence of the generation that follows them.

Tuesday
Jun262012

Carolyn McKinney - Education tax credit bill would improve students' chances of achieving prosperity

Education tax credit bill would improve students' chances of achieving prosperity
By Carolyn McKinney, chairman of the Republican Liberty Caucus of New Hampshire


Right now, businesses contribute about one quarter of the state's revenue in the taxes they pay, and coincidentally, public education comprises about one quarter of the state's costs.

Unfortunately, the money the state is now siphoning away from its most productive citizens is being redistributed to an education system that is failing our children. Even as the state has devoted more hard-earned dollars to government-run education, 71 percent of the state's public schools are in need of improvement, according to a report released by the State Department of Education in April. That doesn't bode well for the prospect of more productive citizens in years to come.

An education tax credit bill that passed the Legislature, but was vetoed by the governor, presents a real opportunity to change the way New Hampshire conducts the business of education. If the governor's veto is overridden by the Legislature, the bill would for the first time allow the free market to work in education—just a little bit—by giving children assigned to a failing public school a chance to attend a better school, whether it is a private school in their home town or a public school in a community nearby. This will forever improve these children's chances for a more productive and prosperous life.

The bill accomplishes this novel goal by letting businesses decide how they want to spend the money they earned, rather than government taking it from them and redistributing it without their input. That's part of the free market component to the idea, which gives businesses an opportunity to decide whether 100 percent of their Business Profits Tax or Business Enterprise Tax payments will continue to fund the broken public education system or whether they'd like up to 85 percent of that money to instead help financially strained parents send their children to a better school. Each business leader will have the opportunity to choose which course to pursue, and the state will actually save hundreds of thousands of dollars in the process, according to the State Department of Revenue.

Of the money that is ultimately collected on a first-come, first serve basis from participating businesses, an independent scholarship organization will determine which children receive help to attend the school of their parents' choice, based on various metrics. This is another part of the free market component of the bill. Schools that do a better job educating children will attract more students, and the students the schools attract will receive a better education at a lower cost. 

While each scholarship organization must give an average $2,500 scholarship to each student, the bill allows some children to receive greater than that amount and some less than that amount. This flexibility will help more parents make the decision to enroll their children in a better school and give them an opportunity they wouldn't have otherwise had. And as the program showcases its successes over the years, as similar programs have in at least eight other states, future Legislatures will have the data needed to expand these opportunities to even more children.

It's true, some communities could lose adequacy funding up to a fixed amount for their own public schools if several of their students receive scholarships to attend different schools, but therein lies yet one more free market component of the bill. Clearly, no school will want to lose students and the adequacy grants that go with them, so this bill will motivate failing schools to improve the quality of their education—without using additional money. On a small scale, the bill could create a situation where schools consistently improve relative to other schools to compete for students, all while keeping their costs low relative to other schools—again, to compete for students.  

Experience has shown that public schools will not improve simply because the state spends more money to educate students the same way we're educating them now. In fact, the quality of education has fallen as taxpayers have devoted more of their hard-earned money to the current system. The only way to successfully improve the quality of education is to change the dynamic of the system by allowing competition into the marketplace, and this education tax credit bill does just that. 

By overriding the governor's veto and providing children with real alternatives to poorly performing schools, school administrators at many of today's failing schools will necessarily change their focus from raising as many tax dollars as they can to producing a quality service that satisfies their customers. In this case, those customers will grow up better equipped with the knowledge and skills they'll need to be productive, and that will position them well to contribute to the educational excellence of the generation that follows them.

Saturday
May122012

Maggie Hassan - Maggie Hassan: R&D tax credit should not be held hostage to GOP social agenda

Recently, I launched my Innovate New Hampshire Tour to hear directly from business leaders and workers about how we can grow the economy and create jobs by aligning our education system with the needs of 21st century businesses. I’ve had the opportunity to meet with some incredible and innovative New Hampshire companies such as Adept MobileRobots in Amherst and Dyn in Manchester. Both companies chose New Hampshire to build and grow their businesses from the ground up. 

We need to ensure that New Hampshire continues to be a place that attracts and inspires that kind of innovation. We want New Hampshire to be a haven for entrepreneurs and inventors — the people who are creating the products and the good-paying jobs of the future. 

As a state senator, I was proud to support the creation of the original research and development tax credit, and I join in Gov. John Lynch’s call on the Legislature to pass a bill doubling the research and development tax credit. The credit sends a powerful message that New Hampshire is open for business and open for innovation. 

Unfortunately, the Republicans in the Legislature have chosen to send another message: Their extreme anti-choice agenda comes before anything else. 

Doubling the research and development tax credit was a bipartisan initiative. The bill is supported by Gov. Lynch, and Democrats and Republicans in both the House and Senate. This bill should already be on its way to the governor’s desk for his signature. Unfortunately, House Republican leadership decided to hijack the research and development tax credit and attach anti-choice legislation to it. 

I strongly believe that the Legislature should not be interfering in private medical decisions. Women are smart enough and strong enough to make their own health care decisions, and they should be able to make these decisions in private, consulting with their doctors and families as they choose. 

Unfortunately, the current New Hampshire House has taken a very different approach. It has moved forward obsessively on an agenda aimed at limiting women’s access to abortion services and to birth control. 

Much of what the current Republican leadership has done over the past two years has hurt New Hampshire’s economic future. When I was a member of the Economic Development Advisory Council, business leaders told me again and again that an educated workforce is key to business and job growth in New Hampshire. This Legislature cut funding for higher education in half. 

In the face of business concern about growing health care costs, this Legislature raised taxes on hospitals by $300 million, costs that are being passed on to local businesses. Businesses in the southern tier believe the expansion of Interstate 93 is critical for their futures; this legislature cut transportation funding. 

In Nashua and Manchester, businesses are begging for the state to at least study the possibility of rail. Republicans in Concord turned away federal funds for that study. 

Businesses want an educated workforce, a good tax environment, and a solid infrastructure. They also want stability and to know that state leaders are focused on the issues that matter to building the economy. 

The Republican leadership in the House is sending a damaging message to business leaders who are considering locating or growing their companies in New Hampshire: Their extreme ideological agenda comes before jobs and economic growth. 

Maggie Hassan is the former state Senate majority leader and a Democratic candidate for governor.

http://www.unionleader.com/article/20120510/OPINION02/705109997