Hassan:  Holding Planet Fitness hostage in budget battle

Hassan: Holding Planet Fitness hostage in budget battle

“Like many others, I am disturbed by the process that brought this bill to my desk. It was passed at the last moment, with no public hearing before the vote. That defective process has understandably raised concerns among members of the legislature and the public.  However, I remain open to considering legislation similar to House Bill 550 as part of a larger budget agreement if this tax law change it proposes is paid for.”

That’s the opening shot Her Highness the Governess Margaret Wood Hassan took at House Bill Five Fifty in her veto message yesterday.  That bill was the General Court’s response to a request made by Planet Fitness after learning the law could cost them fifty million dollars in taxes if they go public in an I P O, or Initial Public Offering, as planned.  Planet Fitness, which employs one hundred fifty people at its corporate headquarters in Dover, has said it will leave the state if the state’s tax laws aren’t changed to avoid the hit.

Planet Fitness logo

Planet Fitness: Gives thumbs down on confiscatory tax

Under current tax law, privately held companies that go public will see the capital raised by the stock offering counted as profit under the Business Profits Tax, leaving them with a hefty, some say punitive and discouraging, tax bill on profits that doesn’t really exist.  The legislature amended a pending bill relative to changes in the state’s tobacco laws to limit the taxability of proceeds raised due to certain sales or exchanges of an interest or beneficial interest in a business organization.  In making the change, the hope was t make New Hampshire a place where privately held businesses that have a goal of going public would build themselves here in New Hampshire and give a needed boost to the economy.

Hassan doesn’t see it that way.  Her veto message is full of rhetoric that essentially holds the bill hostage to the completion of negotiations on the state budget she vetoed, complaining that the tax cuts are quote unquote “unpaid for.”  I wonder if she’s going to propose a business departure tax.

Sanborn:  Takes aim at Hassan

Sanborn: Takes aim at tax on “phantom income”

In a statement released yesterday, District Nine State Senator Andy Sanborn, Republican from Bedford, said the bill simply clarifies that a New Hampshire business would not be subject to Business Profits Tax simply because it went public, attracting investment and raising the perceived value of its stock. Under the NH Department of Revenue Administration’s current interpretation of the tax code, growing businesses could owe millions in higher taxes, even though they haven’t received any additional business income to pay those taxes.

Said Sanborn, quote:

“Whether it’s attacking out of state businesses who create good jobs in New Hampshire, or blocking repeal of this unfair tax on phantom income, Governor Hassan seems to think business owners are the enemy.  Entrepreneurs take risks, create jobs, and will help revive the New Hampshire economy, if the Governor would give them the chance.”

House Majority Whip Dick Hinch, Republican from Merrimack, issued a statement saying quote:

“In today’s 21st century economy, we should be mindful that you can go from a start-up in a garage to a billion dollar company in short order.  We should not be inhibiting these innovators from looking at New Hampshire as an option.  We need to attract and retain them.”

Oh, by the way, it should be noted that the governor who complained about the process this bill went through, is the same person who, as Majority Leader of the Senate, gave New Hampshire the very popular Camp Ground and LLC taxes, used the very same process to push those taxes through the legislature.  Just thought we’d remind you of that.

News from our own backyard continues after this.

Jo Ann Georgian

Georgian: Denies access

Timberlane Regional School Board Member Donna Green of Sandown continues to be barred from entering schools in the Timberlane Regional School District.  In an article posted to her blog yesterday, Green said Jo-Ann Georgian, Principal of Sandown North Elementary School, denied her request to accompany members of the committee studying the feasibility of the town’s withdrawal from the district on a tour of the building.  At one time, Green was a member of the committee, however she just now volunteers to assist its efforts.  Georgian denied Green’s request because she needs Superintendent Earl Metzler’s permission to let her, a school board member, into the school.  Metzler is out of the office until July 27.

Recently, after leaving a message for Georgian seeking information on the school, Green was chastised by School Board Chair Nancy Steenson for initiating an unauthorized communication and told she was harassing Georgian who did now want her phone calls.

Green:  Access denied.

Green: Access denied.

Green, who has repeatedly asked to enter Sandown’s two schools during the budget and consolidation discussions, has been prohibited from entering any school in the district while other members of the board routinely discussing their wonderful visits to various schools in the district.

She concludes her article with this:  “A representative of Sandown on the school board, and an active volunteer to the minority committee, has been denied a tour of a Sandown school for no other reason than political vengeance. This is quite palpably hindering Sandown’s representation and can only fuel indignation among Sandown voters against the school district.”

Day 5:  The Friday that fizzled.

Day 5: The Friday that fizzled.

The filing period continues in the city of Manchester, not that anybody’s really paying attention.  Heck, even the City Clerk forgot to post the day’s filings yesterday, which we’re told only saw former Ward Four School Committeeman and former mayoral candidate Christopher Herbert file.  He’s going to challenge incumbent Ward Four Alderman Jim Roy, who is expected to run again.


From the Manchester Police Department.

The Manchester Police Department will be hosting an entry-level police exam on Saturday, November 21st. The deadline for application is Thursday, November 12th.  For further information and an application visit  or manchester p d dot com.  If you have any questions please call Officer Carl Accorto at 7 9 2 5 4 5 2.

Coffee with a Cop in Manchester is this Thursday morning from nine to eleven at Café La Reine on Elm Street from 9 to 11. Chief Nick Willard will be in attendance, if you’d like to stop by.