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One of the hallmarks of New Hampshire government is its insistence on maintaining low personal and business tax burdens. To that end, there’s no broad-based standard income, sales or estate tax. Inventory, capital gains, and professional services are also tax-free.Unlike other New England states, however, New Hampshire maintains two major business taxes. The first to be instituted was the Business Profits Tax (BPT). But since the bulk of the state’s businesses range from the small-to-very-small, larger firms complained they were shouldering the bulk of the tax burden. So 1993, the Legislature instituted the Business Enterprise Tax (BET). As Jennifer Weiner writes in “How Does New Hampshire Do It?,” a report released by the Boston Federal Reserve, the BET taxes “wages and salaries, interests and dividends paid by businesses.” In other words, it is, technically, an income tax, but the burden’s placed on businesses, rather than individuals. At 0.75 percent, the BET is also a lower rate than a standard state income tax.The other major piece of New Hampshire’s revenue pie is property tax. Residents pay both a state and town property tax. In 2010, Kiplinger’s reports the State Education Income Tax was “$2.35…per $1,000 of total equalized valuation.” Town rates, meanwhile, can vary widely across the state. If you don’t combine New Hampshire’s two business taxes, property tax makes up the largest slice of revenue, at 16 percent.Another notable aspect of New Hampshire’s tax system, as Weiner notes in the Boston Fed report, is that it’s highly diversified. No one tax makes up 20 percent of money coming in. Other major state taxes include Meals and Rooms, Tobacco, Liquor Sales and Distribution, Real Estate Transfer, Interest and Dividends, Insurance Premium, Communications, and Utility Property Taxes.Summary provided by StateImpact NH

Word of Mouth 03.31.2012

Photo by Beast of Traal via Flickr Creative Commons

Part 1:

Users, Unite!

This is the one union that will kick you out if you pass a drug test. Jesse McKinley wrote about the evolution and demands of the San Francisco drug users union for The New York Time.

New York Times Article 

Part 2:

The Cow Clause

When I think of tax evasion or corporate loopholes, I think paper shredders and mumbling accountants huddled over ledgers – not green pastures and high white fences… and yet, for wealthy landowners looking to avoid the brunt of high property taxes through agricultural credits and breaks, all it takes to save millions is a few stray heifers, or a handful of goats. Pat Garofalo is economic policy editor at Think Progress, and the author a recent op-ed called “Holy Cow: How Senators and Movie Stars Use Livestock to Game the Tax Code." 

Part 3:

Rethinking Frankenstein

Mary Shelley’s gothic novel, Frankenstein has long been read as a cautionary tale about the limits of technology, and a warning against scientific hubris. The monster is a man-made creation run amok, seeking revenge on the scientist that harnessed electricity and brought him to life…a horror recreated many times on film.

For the first time in the U.S., a collection of journals and manuscripts from Mary Shelley are on view at the New York Public Library. Ruth Franklin, literary critic and senior editor at the New Republic, has looked through the artifacts and came away with a new prismon the Frankenstein creation myth...one involving childbirth.  

Suing Siri

And now for the implications of man-made beings in the 21st century, and some potential legal questions recently posed by New Hampshire attorney John Weaver. His articlein the New Hampshire BarJournal about the liabilities and rights of artificially intelligent beings is called “Siri is My Client: A First look at Artificial Intelligence and Legal Issues.” John Weaver, associate in the corporate practice at the McLane Law Firm is here with a first look at the liability and intellectual property issues that could arise as more and more people are relying on machines and software that replicate human intelligence. 

Part 4:

Adam Cohen: Like a Man

Sometimes a family resemblance is so strong, you don’t even need eyes to see it.

Adam Cohen is the son of the famed Canadian musician, poet, and ladies’ man Leonard Cohen. After three solo albums, one release from his band Low Millions, and a four-year hiatus from music, Adam has returned with a new album, and a new appreciation for the family legacy. The album Like a Man makes its U.S. release on April 3rd.

Adam joins us from member station KPCC in Pasadena to talk about music, his dad and taking up the family business.  

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