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NH House Approves New Capital Gains, Estate Taxes

NORMA LOVE

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) ¿ House Democrats fended off Republican efforts Thursday to kill capital gains, estate and other taxes needed to pay for an $11.5 billion budget already on its way to the Senate.

The House voted 182-165 largely along party lines to increase existing taxes on dining out, renting hotel rooms, cigarettes and new taxes on gambling winnings, a 5 percent tax on capital gains above $5,000 and an 8 percent tax on estates larger than $2 million. The House also approved freezing an insurance tax scheduled to decrease.

The package also includes a 15-cent increase in the state's 19.6-cent gas tax, spreading the hike over three years on gas and over nine years on diesel, which Republicans did not oppose.

Republicans took special aim at the proposed capital gains tax, arguing it would destroy New Hampshire's attraction to businesses and wealthy individuals as a state without a personal income tax.

"We will have irrevocably committed this state to the course of an income tax," Hooksett Republican David Hess said.

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