Op-ed: Let’s Put New Hampshire Funds to Work in New Hampshire

By Cindy Rosenwald

April 15, 2024

The strength of the New Hampshire economy is built on our investments in and by our small businesses, community members, and state government. Together, we have built a strong and resilient state where people want to live, raise their families, and retire. To continue the success of our state’s economy, we need to continue to grow to meet the needs of our constituents.

In understanding the importance of investing New Hampshire dollars in New Hampshire’s economy, I introduced SB 553 this year, a bill that requires funds held by the public deposit investment pool (PDIP) to be invested or deposited in New Hampshire. The public deposit investment pool was created by the state to give municipalities an option to invest their cash reserves, and it has proven to be a significant
economic driver over the years. The fund was worth $200 million just a few years ago, but since then, it has grown to over $600 million. These funds are primarily municipal reserves, and they are currently invested in financial institutions entirely in other states and countries.

With SB 553, we take this economic stimulus machine further by requiring those funds be invested or deposited in financial institutions with a physical presence in New Hampshire. This means those millions of municipal dollars will increase the amount of money for lending to small businesses by approximately $200 million, create thousands of new jobs, increase household wealth, and grow the state’s GDP.

Another positive aspect of this bill is the requirement that all investments be secured and collateralized. This means the over $600 million of public cash reserves will be well protected, which should be the top priority.

This investment in New Hampshire’s economy will–in a conservative estimate–double the return New Hampshire’s municipalities will earn on their cash reserves. That’s because, with the economic stimulus this bill provides, property tax receipts, rooms and meals tax collections, business taxes and real estate transfer taxes will all grow.

A study conducted last year by Polecon Research estimates that by increasing the investments in our local businesses, we will create 2,000 new jobs. Good-paying jobs are what Granite Staters need as they continue to face higher costs of living. With an increase in New Hampshire banks’ available funds for lending, Granite Staters will have a larger pool to access personal mortgages, auto loans, and other consumer credit options, allowing them to grow and improve their lives.

Ultimately, SB 553 is a secure way to invest communities’ funds in a way that will have incredible benefits for our state and residents. It’s quite simply an economic stimulus package that will benefit individuals and businesses.

SB 553 is a significant financial step forward for our business community and Granite Staters. It has the strong support of New Hampshire’s business community. The bill has already received unanimous support in the Senate and has now made its way over to the House. As my colleagues in the other chamber review this legislation, I hope they join the Senate in supporting this change to the PDIP.

Investing in our New Hampshire residents and businesses is where we find the most success as a state, and sending SB 553 to the Governor will show that the Legislature believes in building a prosperous future for New Hampshire.

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