The Essential Guide To New Hampshire State Taxes


This page is no longer being updated. For ongoing coverage of this topic, go to New Hampshire Public Radio.


One of the hallmarks of New Hampshire government is its insistence on maintaining low personal and business tax burdens.  To that end, there’s no broad-based standard income, sales or estate tax.  Inventory, capital gains, and professional services are also tax-free.

Unlike other New England states, however, New Hampshire maintains two major business taxes.  The first to be instituted was the Business Profits Tax (BPT).  But since the bulk of the state’s businesses range from the small-to-very-small, larger firms complained they were shouldering the bulk of the tax burden. So 1993, the Legislature instituted the Business Enterprise Tax (BET).  As Jennifer Weiner writes in “How Does New Hampshire Do It?,” a report released by the Boston Federal Reserve, the BET taxes “wages and salaries, interests and dividends paid by businesses.”  In other words, it is, technically, an income tax, but the burden’s placed on businesses, rather than individuals.  At 0.75 percent, the BET is also a lower rate than a standard state income tax.

Joe Schlabotnik / Flickr

In addition to the main business and property taxes, the state also relies on a number of other, smaller revenue sources, like the liquor sales and distribution tax.

The other major piece of New Hampshire’s revenue pie is property tax.  Residents pay both a state and town property tax.  In 2010, Kiplinger’s reports the State Education Income Tax was “$2.35…per $1,000 of total equalized valuation.”  Town rates, meanwhile, can vary widely across the state.  If you don’t combine New Hampshire’s two business taxes, property tax makes up the largest slice of revenue, at 16 percent.

Another notable aspect of New Hampshire’s tax system, as Weiner notes in the Boston Fed report, is that it’s highly diversified.  No one tax makes up 20 percent of money coming in.  Other major state taxes include Meals and Rooms, Tobacco, Liquor Sales and Distribution, Real Estate Transfer, Interest and Dividends, Insurance Premium, Communications, and Utility Property Taxes.

Latest Posts

Bipartisan Group Pans Tax Plans Of (Almost) All GOP Presidential Candidates

As we publish, US Budget Watch (part of the bipartisan group Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget) just announced release of a report analyzing the tax plans of the GOP presidential candidates.  (We’ll link to it when it becomes available.) According to their research, only Ron Paul’s tax plan won’t dramatically increase the national debt. […]

Key House Committee Considers Expanded Gambling Bill

The debate over the economic impacts of HB 593 (or “The Casino Bill,” if you will) continues.  As Kevin Landrigan of the Nashua Telegraph reports, discussion of the bill continued Monday, when the House Ways and Means committee listened to about three hours of public testimony: “The state stands to lose $150 million of existing […]

How State Budget Cuts Affect Your Property Taxes

A new report finds that Granite State communities are leaning more and more heavily on property taxes.  Examining data from 2007-2010, the New Hampshire Center for Public Policy Studies found: “Total municipal appropriations per person have leveled off considerably over the past three years compared with pre-recession trends.  At the same time, we see that […]

Q&A: The Strengths and Weaknesses of Manufacturing in New Hampshire

What we’ve seen since President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address has been a series of press events at various factories (including a vice presidential visit to Albany Engineered Composites in Rochester) and media stories touching on the state of American Manufacturing. It’s part of the president’s latest jobs initiative that focuses on reviving the manufacturing sector. Given […]

Why The Phone Pole Tax Matters

We’ll admit it: The telephone pole property tax sounds like a dry topic for the 2012 Legislative session at first glance. And at second glance, for that matter. But fortunately for us, John Toole of the Eagle-Tribune took a third look, rustled up some sources, facts, and stats, and managed to make the story not […]

Economic Themes Dominate NH State Of The State Address

Today marked Governor John Lynch’s last State of the State address.  And, as one might expect during a slow trudge toward recovery, the bulk of Lynch focused either directly or indirectly on the economy.  Some of the key themes included issues that we’ve covered or put on the Watch List of our Ultimate Legislative Guide.  […]

The Ultimate Economic Guide To The 2012 NH Legislative Session

As the New Hampshire legislature begins whittling down a bevy of economy-related bills, we thought it would be helpful to offer you a brief, on-going roundup of what we believe are some key economic issues the General Court will be looking at, and why.  We’ve also included resources if you’d like to research and track […]

The Ultimate NH Primary Cheat Sheet: Where The Candidates Stand on Economic Policy

After months of political debates, ad buying, and hand-shaking, the New Hampshire Republican primary is finally upon us.  And not surprisingly, the latest WMUR Granite State Poll from the University of New Hampshire Survey Center shows that the economy/jobs is the top issue for about 60 percent of the state’s voters. The Iowa Caucuses have […]

Best Of StateImpact: How NH Poaches Massachusetts Businesses

When New Hampshire politicians and business-types talk about “economic development,” they often mean touting the so-called “New Hampshire Advantage.”  Among other things, that’s overall low–or in many cases, no–taxes, an educated workforce, and that amorphous “quality of life” distinction. But “economic development” in the Granite State also means using the much-vaunted New Hampshire Advantage as […]

Q&A: Why The Patron Saint Of “Reagonomics” Supports A Carbon Tax

If there is a patron saint of modern Republican tax policy, it is economist Arthur Laffer.  Laffer is best known for the  Laffer Curve – a graph of the theory that under the right circumstances, a cut in tax rates produces higher tax revenues.  The Laffer Curve was the keystone of  so-called “Reaganomics.” He was […]

About StateImpact

StateImpact seeks to inform and engage local communities with broadcast and online news focused on how state government decisions affect your lives.
Learn More »