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Biden administration moves to protect Alaska wilderness; opening statements and first witness in NY trial; SCOTUS hears Starbucks case, with implications for unions on the line; rural North Carolina town gets pathway to home ownership.

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The Supreme Court weighs cities ability to manage a growing homelessness crisis, anti-Israeli protests spread to college campuses nationwide, and more states consider legislation to ban firearms at voting sites and ballot drop boxes.

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Wyoming needs more educators who can teach kids trade skills, a proposal to open 40-thousand acres of an Ohio forest to fracking has environmental advocates alarmed and rural communities lure bicyclists with state-of-the-art bike trail systems.

NH tax system requires more from low, middle-income families

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Wednesday, January 17, 2024   

New Hampshire has the 18th most regressive state and local tax system in the country, according to a new report.

The Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy found the bottom 20% of earners pay three times more in taxes than the top 1%.

Carl Davis, research director for the institute, said the state's reliance on property taxes to fund government means some families are paying more to keep a roof over their heads.

"It can make it more difficult to put food on the table, to keep the lights, all these basic expenses," Davis pointed out. "It really can create financial stress in the household."

Davis noted for those making less than $35,000 a year, nearly 9% of their income goes to state and local taxes while those earning more than $700,000 dollars pay less than 3%.

Polls nationwide show Americans believe those who make more, should pay more.

Support has grown for the Billionaire Minimum Income Tax, which would require the wealthiest households to pay a minimum of 20% on all their income. Reports show many currently pay zero income tax.

Davis argued states' regressive tax systems are driving a wedge between the haves and have-nots.

"They reserve their lowest tax rates for people who already have the most, and the result is even more inequality than where we started," Davis contended

Davis emphasized tax systems are a policy choice, and it is up to the public and their elected officials to decide whether to continue the status quo. He added New Hampshire could look to its neighbors, Vermont and Maine, which not only offer refundable tax credits but reserve their lowest overall tax rates for low-income families.

Critics of such types of plans said they are a form of wealth redistribution and punish the wealthy.


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