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Rokon chief calls Democrat budget claims 'a slap in the face' to N.H. entrepreneurs

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New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu hops on an all-terrain Rokon bike as Rokon International President Tom Blais looks on Thursday. (Courtesy photo)

ROCHESTER - The leader of one of Rochester's most successful companies personally thanked New Hampshire's governor on Thursday for vetoing the recently proposed budget that would have increased taxes dramatically.

"While Rokon is based in Rochester, we do business around the globe," said Tom Blais, President of Rokon International, Inc., a builder of all-terrain vehicles. "Our company builds all-terrain motorcycles that compete against some of the biggest names in the industry. We're grateful to Governor Sununu for creating and maintaining a business climate that allows us to remain here in New Hampshire while maintaining a competitive presence in our industry."

Gov. Sununu vetoed the Democrat-led $13 billion budget in June, calling it a "job killer" and saying it would undo the advances his administration had achieved since taking office. Blais agreed.

"It was vital for the Governor to veto the proposed budget. Increasing taxes, like the Business Enterprise Tax, puts a stress on businesses like ours. To hear some legislators in Concord say this tax is only paid by out-of-state corporations is a slap in the face to the entrepreneurs of this state, who have, in many cases, risked a lot to build a business and employ people," Blais said. "By becoming more competitive with our business tax rates, our economy is taking off. The demand for workers is fierce, because everyone is fighting over the same pool of good employees. That is driving up wages and giving more opportunities to more people. We need Governor Sununu to continue leading us down this path of economic prosperity."

"Rokon International plays a vital role in the strength of New Hampshire's economy," added Gov. Sununu. "The team at Rokon is developing top-notch equipment that has been used across the globe to navigate difficult terrains, both for pleasure and for life-saving search and rescue operations. It's incredibly important that we deliver a budget that ensures companies like Rokon are able to maintain their presence in New Hampshire, without facing tax increases that put them at a competitive disadvantage within their market."

With Sununu's veto in place, the state will continue to operate under current spending levels till the end of September while the governor and Democrats work to find a compromise.

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