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Friday, April 5, 2013

Sen. Ayotte delivers ‘promising’ message on budget issues at Merrimack Rotary Club meeting

MERRIMACK – Merrimack Rotary Club member Rick Crawford said the U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte’s message about ongoing budget issues in Congress were “promising,” even if he’s a small business owner struggling to make ends meet.

Crawford serves as the club’s sergeant at arms and is the owner of Crawford and Sons Roofing and Home Services. Ayotte, R-N.H., was the guest speaker at the Merrimack Rotary Club’s meeting Thursday morning, where she talked about sequestration, national defense, Obamacare, Medicaid and the federal budget. ...

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MERRIMACK – Merrimack Rotary Club member Rick Crawford said the U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte’s message about ongoing budget issues in Congress were “promising,” even if he’s a small business owner struggling to make ends meet.

Crawford serves as the club’s sergeant at arms and is the owner of Crawford and Sons Roofing and Home Services. Ayotte, R-N.H., was the guest speaker at the Merrimack Rotary Club’s meeting Thursday morning, where she talked about sequestration, national defense, Obamacare, Medicaid and the federal budget.

It’s the first time in the nearly four years since Ayotte went to Washington there’s been a budget presented by the U.S. Senate. She said she couldn’t support the budget because there’s roughly a trillion dollars in new taxes over 10 years, but did support the one that came from the House because it balanced out during the same time frame.

“Balancing the budget, I think it’s a huge thing for our country. To not have a budget the past four years is unacceptable,” Crawford said. “There has to be accountability and it seems to be what she’s for and what she’s talking about.”

Ayotte spoke in opposition of the Main Street Fairness Act, and said “there’s nothing fair about it,” and called it the “Online Tax Collection Act.” She explained it would require online businesses to collect sales tax for purchases made in other states, which is “particularly punishing” for New Hampshire since it is one out of five states in the U.S. without a sales tax.

“It’s not just states without sales tax, it’s online businesses across the country,” Ayotte said. “You then become the collector for all those jurisdictions that you sell something to, no matter where someone is. And you think about the bureaucratic nightmare that is for businesses.”

The senator said she isn’t in favor of the medical device tax, which is a part of Obamacare that will be implemented next year unless the proposed tax is nixed. She said it would charge a 2.3 percent tax on revenue for companies that make medical devices and as of 2009, there were 50 such companies in New Hampshire.

Crawford is glad Ayotte understands the struggles experienced by small businesses and where they’re coming from.

“Being a small business owner, between taxes, disability insurance and liability insurance ... I feel like I’m being taxed out of business,” he said. “I don’t feel as if I’m getting the help. ... (The government says,) ‘Let’s get small businesses going.’ Well, help us out.”

Since Crawford is in the roofing industry, he has to carry liability and disability insurance because it’s a dangerous profession, he said.

“In order to work, I have to carry it. Because insurances are so high and the state business tax, at some point, I can’t be competitive,” he said.

Erin Place can be reached at 594-6589 or eplace@nashuatelegraph.com. Also, follow Place on Twitter (@Telegraph_ ErinP).