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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

11.01.15: Incognito, Jedis, & Daylight Savings

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Michael Fosberg grew up in a middle-class white family – and didn’t discover until his early 30s that his biological father was black. Today, a conversation about race, identity and personal discovery with actor Michael Fosberg. Plus, whether you’re looking forward to brighter mornings or dreading the dark afternoons, daylight saving time is happening on Sunday. We’ll debunk the myths of daylight saving time., starting with its origins.

Listen to the full show. 

Incognito

Incognito is a one-man play about Michael Fosberg’s discovery that after growing up in a middle-class white family, his biological father was black. The play raises questions of race and identityat a time when protests over the deaths of unarmed African-Americans and #BlackLivesMatter are fueling what some are calling a new civil rights movement.

Fosberg is performing Incognitothis Sunday at East-West University in Chicago to benefit Literature For All of Us, a program for under-resourced kids and adults in the Chicago area. 

Music of "The Martian"

The Martianheld the top spot at the box office for two weeks, and as of October 19th has grossed more than $300 million worldwide.  In this episode of Song Exploder, composer Harry Gregson-Williams describes how he created a sound that represented the grandeur and mystery of the Red Planet, and the surprising optimism of the film itself. This story comes to us from producer Hrishikesh Hirway

You can listen to this story again at SongExploder.net

New Zealand Jedis Denied Tax Exemptions

Jedis traditionally operatein a galaxy far, far away, but a significant number can now be found much closer to home.  Nearly 54,000 New Zealanders listed “Jedi” as their religion on the country’s 2001 census.

It’s an impressive number, yet the group’s application for the tax-free status granted to other religions has been turned down by New Zealand’s Department of Internal Affairs.Adam Taylorreports on foreign affairs for the Washington Post, and wrote about this Jedi battle

What Does it Take to be a Religion in NH?

Brandon Rossis a Manchester based attorney who has been involved with several appeals for religious tax exemptions in New Hampshire. He joined us to explain more about what it takes to be considered a real religion in the state.

Daylight Saving Time

Michael Downingis professor of creative writing at tufts university, and author of Spring Forward: The Annual Madness of Daylight Saving TimeHe joined us to talk about the funky history of chaning our clocks. Producer Taylor Quimby first spoke with him in March, 2014. 

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