BY: Citizens Count
In 2016, New Hampshire considered – and then rejected - offering a tax credit to people providing home healthcare services to an ill, injured or disabled family member living in their home.
The proposal would have seen up to $750 deducted from the tax bills of eligible property owners. To qualify, the owner would have to be personally providing nursing or rehabilitative services for a family member for the majority of the year.
Why tax credits can help
Supporters of a property tax credit for caregivers note that staying home to care for a disabled or ill family member can impose a significant financial burden. But when family members step in, it can save taxpayers a lot of money. Keeping care within the family can delay or prevent patients from requiring more expensive home health visitation services or entering a long-term residential care facility.
With New Hampshire’s population getting increasingly older, any move that encourages family members to shoulder more of the burden of care is seen as wise policy choice.
Problems and pitfalls
However, opponents of the 2016 bill were concerned that the tax credit would amount to a mandate on towns, forcing a reduction in property tax revenue that would have to be made up by increasing the burden on other homeowners.
Others argue that a tax credit alone isn’t enough to sway family members into taking up the role of caregivers, and that the state would be better off keeping the revenue and directing more energy towards training, education and support programs for home caregivers.
Do you think NH should offer a tax credit to home caregivers? Comment below and have your say.