N.H. Governor Vetoes Surplus Lines Tax Increase

June 17, 2003

Based on his “no new taxes” platform, New Hampshire Governor Craig Benson has vetoed a bill that would have reportedly raised premium taxes for surplus lines insurers.

“This bill would have been a disservice to surplus lines insurers and the clients they serve in the Granite State,” said Gerald Zimmerman, assistant general counsel for the National Association of Independent Insurers (NAII). “We’re pleased that the governor recognized this and adhered to his election promise to avoid raising taxes.”

H.B. 164, which would have reportedly increased tax on the gross premiums of unlicensed companies from 2 percent to 3 percent, passed the legislature earlier this spring.

The Department of Insurance estimated that the bill would increase unrestricted revenue by $160,000 in 2004, and $320,000 in 2005 and each year thereafter. However, the bill reportedly unfairly penalized surplus lines insurers, which provide an important service to the insurance marketplace, added Zimmerman.

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