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Seacoast Online: Hassan: Tax bill ‘a giveaway to corporations’

EXETER -- Local business owner Dan Chartrand told U.S. Sen. Maggie Hassan Friday he felt the proposed Republican tax reform bill would “decimate communities across this country.”

Hassan, a Democrat who lives in Newfields, stopped into Water Street Bookstore to talk about the effects of a bill she said has not allowed for Democratic input. The bill, if passed, would be seen as a major political victory for President Donald Trump before year’s end.

… “It’s not only the design of the bill, but the process has just been so fast, so rushed,” Hassan said Friday. “It’s been pretty frustrating and disappointing.”

Hassan, the former governor of New Hampshire, said the bill was drawn up “behind closed doors.” Last week, 17 Democratic senators told Republicans they were eager to work with them. “There has literally been no response,” Hassan said.

Hassan submitted a bill in September titled the Middle Class Tax Break Act, to create a $1,000 tax credit for families with earnings of up to $200,000. Hassan and many of her colleagues, she said, believe the corporate rate in the GOP plan, dropping from the current rate of 35 percent to 21 percent, is too much.

“We’re looking at a bill that’s a big giveaway to corporations,” she said, noting the bill would add at least $1 trillion to the national deficit, triggering cuts to domestic spending including the FBI, DEA, Homeland Security, Medicaid and Medicare.

Enna Grazier, an Exeter resident, will hold the grand opening of her Epping chocolate factory, called Enna Chocolate, on Saturday. Self-employed for 15 years, Grazier told Hassan removing the Obamacare individual mandate would make it difficult for her to have affordable health care.

“I don’t see this tax bill supporting me or other small businesses,” Grazier said. “I see it designed to benefit the wealthiest individuals and companies. Economically, it could make or break a small business like mine.”

Chartrand opened his independent Water Street Bookstore in 1991.

“For me, those are my paychecks, that’s my community I’m serving,” Chartrand said of the under $75,000 income number. “They’re young working families, getting into the most vital parts of their careers. The tax bill to me kicks the hell out of a community I’m just so woven into.”

Hassan also estimated the tax plan would cause 13 million people to lose health insurance.

“We should be going back to the drawing board,” she said.