Letter: Sununu looks out for his own biz, not Jaffrey

Published: 11/7/2019 1:35:02 PM
Modified: 11/7/2019 1:34:51 PM


To the editor:

Governor Sununu visited Millipore last week to talk about his plans for affordable housing. What he did not tell his Jaffrey audience was that, when it came to actually designating towns as Opportunity Zones to encourage housing investment, he skipped Jaffrey. Instead, he selected the site of his own family’s business, Waterville Valley, to be an Opportunity Zone.

Opportunity Zones are meant to boost investment into impoverished areas. Waterville Valley has a zero percent poverty level. Jaffrey’s poverty level is 14%. In 2018, the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act allowed the governor to designate 27 census blocks as Opportunity Zones. Investments in these zones avoids capital gains tax on the initial balance, plus earnings for ten years, in some cases.

Interestingly, in July of 2019, a year after the governor named Waterville Valley an Opportunity Zone, news outlets announced that the Sununu family expanded their holdings in the ski area there. This is the kind of move a group of investors would make if they wanted to take advantage of the capital gains tax breaks available from Opportunity Zones.

It’s nice to visit and talk of all the great plans you have for affordable housing in a town that needs and deserves the investment. The Monadnock region is a manufacturing center that desperately needs more homes for our workforce. However, not a single town between Keene, Manchester and the Massachusetts border was designated by the governor as an Opportunity Zone. But Waterville Valley was. And a lot of investment, from the governor’s own family, is headed there.

NH Senator Jeanne Dietsch



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