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Break points: statewide expansion of Coos tax exemption goes to governor's desk.

The tax break available to developers in Coos County will be spread throughout the state, if House Bill 316 is signed into law by Gov. Chris Sununu.

The Senate on May 18 narrowly approved the bill, which would give towns and cities in New Hampshire the authority to offer a property tax exemption of up to 10 years on 50 percent of construction costs on commercial or industrial buildings.

That's the same program passed in 2008, specifically to help the state's most rural and economically depressed county. Since 2009, it has led to creation of 300 jobs, including such projects as the redevelopment of the Mountain View Grand in Whitefield and the Capone Iron Corp. facility in Berlin.

"What is good for one county is good for all counties," said Sen. Andy Sanborn, R-Bedford.

But spreading this tax break would "be depleting the one tiny advantage that Coos County has," argued Sen. Jeff Woodburn, D-Whitefield.

Coos is not tike the state's other counties, Woodburn argued passionately. "Poverty runs though it like a river and washes away decent jobs and hope. People in Coos County work twice as hard to make half as much as their neighbors to the south. If Coos County were a state, it would be the oldest in the nation."

Coos County will have one remaining advantage: a lucrative tax credit against the business enterprise tax as a reward for creating jobs.

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Author:Sanders, Bob
Publication:New Hampshire Business Review
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1U1NH
Date:Jun 9, 2017
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