The economic wins just keep coming for New Hampshire and Gov. Chris Sununu — not to mention the two Republicans who want to take over when he leaves office at the end of the year.

Just two weeks after being ranked number one in the nation for best taxpayer return on investment, a new analysis found New Hampshire has the second-lowest overall tax burden. Only Alaska, with its vast oil revenues subsidizing government expenses, had a lower tax burden.

And New Hampshire ranked number one for lowest total sales and excise taxes as a percentage of personal income.

The Granite State’s performance is even more notable when compared to its New England neighbors. All five of the other states in the region are ranked in the top 20 for tax burden, with Maine ranked 4th highest and Vermont number three.

The analysis was conducted by Wallethub, which also noted that New Hampshire has the fourth-highest property tax burden in the U.S.

Source: WalletHub


“It’s easy to be dismayed at tax time when you see just how much of your income you lose,” said Wallethub analyst Cassandra Happe in a statement. “Living in a state with a low tax burden can alleviate some of that stress. Some states charge no income tax or no sales tax, although all states have some form of property taxes and excise taxes.”

And Granite State Taxpayers chairman Ray Chadwick added, ” GST Founder Gov. Mel Thomson said it best:
‘Low taxes are the result of low spending.’ We need to keep and expand legislative majorities that agree with Gov. Thomson.”

Sununu and his GOP allies in the legislature have made cutting taxes a top priority, and it appears to be paying off. For example, New Hampshire only ranked seventh for lowest individual income tax burden because the state still has a tax on interest and dividend income. That tax will be completely phased out by year’s end.

Those cuts and phase outs were pushed through the legislature over heated Democratic opposition. Now two Democrats who want to be governor, former Manchester Mayor Joyce Craig and Executive Councilor Cinde Warmington, have to run against the GOP legacy that’s put New Hampshire high in the economic rankings.

Asked what policies they would pursue to maintain New Hampshire’s economic standing, Craig declined to respond, as did Warmington.

Asked what Sununu policies on taxes and the economy they would change if elected to the corner office, both Democrats again declined to answer.

That is a problem for the Democrats, political professionals say. Running to replace a governor from the other party means running on the message, “It’s time for a change.” Who wants a change from a low tax burden, high taxpayer value and the lowest poverty rate in the country?

“It’s almost impossible for [Craig and Warmington] to find a winning issue that would differentiate themselves from the public and define their campaigns,” said GOP strategist Matthew Bartlett. He described their challenge as “trying to critique Tom Brady and the Patriots after they just won back-to-back Super Bowls.”

Asked what they would do to keep New Hampshire on the same economic path, the two Republican candidates didn’t hesitate to respond.

“Want to know what I’ll do? Check out what I’ve already done,” said former state Senate President Chuck Morse. “This isn’t luck or accident; it’s the outcome of years of hard work by strong conservatives, like myself. I’m proud to have contributed to the success of this state and eager to continue the momentum as governor.”

Kelly Ayotte said, “As governor, I’ll stop the Democrats from MASSing up New Hampshire by ending their attempts to restore the interest and dividends tax, implement sales and income taxes, and create more burdensome regulations. We’ll streamline government across the board, making Concord more efficient and accountable to Granite Staters. Together, we’ll keep our great state safe, prosperous and free.”