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Category: Tax Burdens


In Fiscal Year (FY) 2015, New Hampshire collected $6.1 billion in state and local taxes. While this is an impressive sum of money, it tells us little about whether or not the average New Hampshire taxpayer can afford this level of taxation.

 

 

Click here to view tax burden data by state, type of tax, and for years 1950 to 2015

 

As shown in Chart 1, New Hampshire’s state and local tax burden (tax collections divided by private sector personal income) was the second lowest in the nation for FY 2015 at 10.8 percent—or -25 percent below the national average of 14.4 percent.

 

Chart 1 New Hampshire State and Local Tax Burden FY 2015.jpg

 

#NewHampshire #taxburden in FY 2015 was the 2nd lowest in the nation at 10.8%— -25% below national average (click to tweet)

 

As shown in Chart 2, New Hampshire’s tax burden has increased over time by 32 percent to 10.8 percent in FY 2015 from 8.2 percent in FY 1950.

 

Chart 2 New Hampshire Tax Burden by Type of Tax FY 1959 to 2015.jpg 

#NewHampshire #taxburden has grown 32% between FY 1950 to 2015 to 10.8% from 8.2% (click to tweet)

 

 

Click here to view tax burden data by state, type of tax, and for years 1950 to 2015

 

As shown in Chart 3, New Hampshire’s 10.8 percent tax burden is greater than these combined industries: construction  (6.1 percent), educational services (2.4 percent), real estate and rental and leasing (1.5 percent), utilities (0.6 percent), and farming (0.1 percent).

 

Chart 3 New Hampshire State and Local Tax Burden vs. Major Industry FY 2015.jpg

 

#NH #taxburden > combined industries: construction, educational services, real estate, utilities, and farming (click to tweet)

 

But wait, there’s more!

 

Did you know that #NewHampshire is home to the few remaining #taxhavens in the country! (Click to tweet)

 

There are 16 jurisdictions where one can live free of personal income, sales, and town property taxes (see Google Map below): Kilkenny, Atkinson & Gilmanton Academy Grant, Bean’s Grant, Bean’s Purchase, Cambridge, Chandler’s Purchase, Crawford’s Purchase, Cutt’s Grant, Dix’s Grant, Erving’s Grant, Hadley’s Purchase, Livermore, Low & Burbank Grant, Martin’s Location, Sargent’s Purchase, Second College Grant.

 

There are other towns (not shown in Google Map), such as Dixville, Hale’s Location, Millsfield, and Success, that have very low town property taxes.

 

 

On the downside, all of these towns are still subject to county property taxes. And thanks to recent ruling by the State Supreme Court on education funding (known as the “Claremont Decision”), there is also a state-wide property tax. The rate is generally set at 2 mills (depending on the town), so it’s not too onerous (yet). You can view a complete breakdown of New Hampshire property taxes by jurisdiction.

 

Of course, there is a minor problem in that if you want to move to one of these tax havens—many of these towns are remote and/or mountainous with few people or are now mostly national forest. Neither homes nor land come up for sale very often and when they do they command a price premium. One notable exception is that you can buy into Hale’s Location thanks to the development around its country club.

 

After New Hampshire, Alaska comes the closest to tax haven status by virtue of no state-wide personal income or sales tax. However, Alaska does allow towns to levy their own sales tax—which is the equivalent to a state-wide 1.76 percent sales tax according to the Tax Foundation. Although this can be offset by the annual Permanent Fund Dividend payment which we book as a tax reduction.

 

Additionally, New Hampshire is home to the only state-level flat tax in the country known as the Business Enterprise Tax. I have written a tax plan to fully reform New Hampshire’s business tax system into a single rate, Business Flat Tax (pdf) that would completely eliminate the extremely onerous Business Profit Tax (pdf), among other changes. You can read more about it in my post: “State and Local Business Taxes 2014”

 

Of course, the tax burdens for local government can vary just as much as they do among the 50 states. As such, we have also calculated the local government tax burden for every county in New Hampshire—this includes every taxing jurisdiction within the geographic county borders whether it is a city, a special district, or county government itself.

 

New Hampshire only has 10 counties and they are listed below from highest to lowest local government tax burden:

 

  • Coos County, NH (11.4 percent)
  • Carroll County, NH (8.5 percent)
  • Belknap County, NH (8.5 percent)
  • Grafton County, NH (8 percent)
  • Cheshire County, NH (7.9 percent)
  • Strafford County, NH (7.6 percent)
  • Merrimack County, NH (7.1 percent)
  • Sullivan County, NH (7 percent)
  • Rockingham County, NH (5.7 percent)
  • Hillsborough County, NH (5.2 percent)

 

Chart 4 New Hampshire Local Tax Burden by County FY 2015.jpg

 

Click here to view tax burden data by state, type of tax, and for years 1950 to 2015

 

 

Finally, don’t forget to watch our exclusive time-lapse video of state and local tax burdens over the last 65 years! See if your state has been above or below the national average?

 

 


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