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  • Staff photo by Don Himsel


    Tax protesters stand outside of Sen. Kelley Ayotte's downtown Nashua office Thursday, April 11, 2012.
  • Staff photo by Don Himsel


    Tax protesters stand outside of Sen. Kelley Ayotte's downtown Nashua office Thursday, April 11, 2012.
  • Staff photo by Don Himsel


    Tax protesters stand outside of Sen. Kelley Ayotte's downtown Nashua office Thursday, April 11, 2012.
  • Staff photo by Don Himsel


    Tax protesters stand outside of Sen. Kelley Ayotte's downtown Nashua office Thursday, April 11, 2012.
Friday, April 13, 2012

Rally held at Ayotte’s Nashua office to support ‘Buffett rule’

NASHUA – Just as Vice President Joe Biden was due to deliver a speech in Exeter, a small band of protesters gathered outside U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte’s Main Street office.

The messages on their signs painted a pointed picture.

“Trust me, the wealthy are doing just fine,” one read.

“Unequal taxation, unequal representation,” read another.

A third proclaimed, “Make sure the super rich pay taxes too.”

The group was rallying for the passage of the so-called Buffett Rule, which the U.S. Senate is due to vote Monday.

Actually called the Paying a Fair Share Act, it would establish a 30 percent tax rate for anyone making more than $1 million a year.

“Millionaires and billionaires should pay a higher tax rate than their secretaries,” said Olivia Zink, community organizer at New Hampshire Citizens Alliance for Action. “If we really want to get serious about reducing the deficit, then millionaires and billionaires should share in that burden.”

Organizers of the rally said the act will help cut down the national deficit and ensure that millionaires are paying their share instead of using tax loopholes and shelters. Ayotte is opposed to the plan, which is why one of the signs targeted the senator from Nashua.

“Senator Ayotte, stop giving tax breaks to the rich,” the sign said.

Zink also presented Ayotte staffers with a petition signed by 746 New Hampshire residents calling on Ayotte to vote for the bill. That’s just a fraction of the more than 65,000 people who have signed the petition nationally, she said.

Ayotte wasn’t having any of it, calling the act a “political stunt” that would cover barely a day of borrowing.

“It won’t create a single job or help solve our nation’s fiscal crisis. What it would do is impose a new tax on many small business owners who file their taxes as individuals – and that idea will fall flat in anti-tax New Hampshire,” she said in a statement. “I support pro-growth tax reform that eliminates special interest loopholes and lowers rates for everyone. The president needs to stop the political pandering and instead work with Congress on reforming our broken tax code.”

Jillian Dubois, a Hudson resident, said she pays her taxes as a patriotic duty and because she appreciates what they pay for, such as public schools and public safety.

“And I think billionaires should, too,” she said. “I’m just concerned because I think a lot of people in Washington are more concerned about getting money than they are with taxes and services for people.”

Eileen Brady spends most of her day with people on the bottom rung of the economic ladder at the Nashua Soup Kitchen and Shelter, but said she wasn’t at the rally as an advocate, just “as a person who can add.”

“It’s really sad that this is an issue,” she said. “The rates are very unfair. I definitely see the results of an unfair tax system all the time.”

Tom Hey, an Amherst resident, said it’s categorically unfair that more income can mean lower tax rates.

“It’s morally insupportable,” he said. “I’m here because I think the tax structure is unfair. It’s long overdue that tax equity is established in this country.”

Joseph G. Cote can be reached at 594-6415 or jcote@nashuatelegraph.com. Also follow Cote on Twitter (@Telegraph_JoeC).