Look, I like the idea of the ARMI project being developed in the Manchester Millyard by entrepreneur extraordinaire, Dean Kamen (even if the manufacturing of "human tissue and replacement organs" has "Zombie Apocalypse" written all over it).
BUT, according to this Union Leader article, the "New Hampshire Legislature appears on the verge of granting an unprecedented, 10-year tax holiday to firms involved in the Advanced Regenerative Manufacturing Institute (ARMI) project in Manchester and a student loan forgiveness program for workers who devote at least five years to it."
This is not cool. Giving an "unprecedented" tax break to one company, and not others, is not applying the New Hampshire tax code "uniformly," nor is it "broadly based." The legislature should not be picking winners and losers.
Says Greg Moore, state director of fiscally-conservative Americans for Prosperity:
“While we wish the ARMI project the best of success, the idea of having the state give away tax exemptions to one favored or well-connected industry, or in the case of this bill, one company, opens up Pandora’s Box in terms of encouraging cronyism and attempting to have the state pick winners and losers…”
“We should attract new business to New Hampshire by having the best business environment, not through chasing companies by throwing taxpayer subsidies at them.”
The AG’s office has said this tax exemption is constitutional even though it would only be extended to firms involved in the manufacture of human tissue and replacement organs, specifically: "the bill grants for 10 years exemptions from the state’s two business taxes on corporate profits and on all business activity to all firms that have at least 75 percent of their taxable activity in the ARMI project".
So only ARMI can benefit from this? This is the wrong approach. The best way forward is to apply any tax exemption to all companies equally. After all, we know lower taxes benefit the local economy.
When Amazon was looking for its second HQ, I took pride in the fact that New Hampshire refused to offer special tax treatment, unlike all the other pandering states. We should be doing the same thing here, or you have to wonder… Who will be reaching out their hands to get special treatment next?
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