Raising the minimum wage is not the answer

To the Editor:

In the past few decades, New Hampshire has gone from being the best state for business to one of the worst.

Now, our Legislature will further the decline by passing HB 1403 to raise the minimum wage.

While well intended, raising the minimum wage is not the path to increased wages for New Hampshire workers. If the bill passes, it will reduce jobs and wages in our state.

Here is why:

In the 1960s, wages in our state were appallingly low. Then Sanders Associates started and Digital Equipment relocated here. Wages skyrocketed throughout the state.

Why? High-paying jobs come from quality employers, not as a result of government legislation.

To increase the wages for all New Hampshire workers, we must encourage businesses to relocate here and for existing companies to grow and prosper. This should be our goal but it won’t be as easy as in the past.

Here is why:

Our Legislature has been short sighted. When revenue is needed, we have raised the business taxes again and again. Now, we have high business taxes. Add to this, we are one of the states burdening business with massive regulations.

Also, New Hampshire is not a right to work state.

Further, we must consider our high cost of living and utility rates. Add to this is the fact that the New Hampshire Constitution that does not allow for special tax incentives to encourage business to relocate to our state.

So now, we are going raise the minimum wage. To me, that will further send the message that New Hampshire is not a business-friendly state.

I urge you to contact your legislator and request that they not vote for HB 1403 and to pledge to vote for reduced business taxes and regulations.

Once again, we can become a state that attracts quality companies.

REP. ROBERT ROWE

Amherst district