December 13. 2012 11:10AM
Free State Project participants have 101 reasons to move to N.H.
By Henry Metz and Dan Moberger http://www.unionleader.com/article/20121213/NEWHAMPSHIRE14/121219621/-1/news
Here is the 1st 1/2 of the article. Click on the link to read the other 1/2.
Editor’s note: This is the first in a series that will explore the Free State Project. This week, we look at who Free Staters are and why they choose to live in New Hampshire.
It is a movement that began outside of New Hampshire by a group of people who describe themselves as “pro-liberty activists,” and in 2003 they made the decision to call New Hampshire their home.
They are participants in what is called the Free State Project, an organized effort to get 20,000 libertarian-leaning individuals to weave their way into the Granite State’s political, social and business tapestry.
Formed out of a belief that government – as stated on the group’s website – exists “at most to protect people’s rights, and should neither provide for people nor punish them for activities that interfere with no one else,” the Free State Project has, thus far, brought approximately 1,100 people to New Hampshire from other parts of the country.
State Rep. Mark Warden is one of those people. A citizen of the Granite State since 2007, Warden recently won election to a second term in the state Legislature, where he represents Goffstown, Weare and Deering.
“I moved here from Las Vegas, Nev.,” said Warden, a real estate agent. “I was single – I still am – and so it was fairly easy for me to just pick up and leave. I was involved in new home construction in Nevada, and I was getting more and more interested in becoming an activist. Overall, I love it here. The winters are cold, but the scenery is beautiful.”
Warden, like many other Free State participants, found that the scenery wasn’t the only thing that attracted him to New Hampshire. He left Nevada for many reasons, not the least of which was New Hampshire’s tax policies – specifically, the lack of an income and sales tax, as well as no capital gains tax.
Freedom from taxes is included in a list of 101 reasons why Free Staters should move to New Hampshire, according to the organization’s website.
In fact, taxes – or a lack of them – figure heavily in what the Free State Project considers the leading virtues of the Granite State. New Hampshire has no inventory tax, the list points out, nor does it have a tax on “machinery or equipment.”
The fact that motorcyclists need not wear a helmet and adults need not wear seatbelts also make the list, as does the fact that New Hampshire has some of the least restrictive gun laws in the nation.
For Warden, who in the most recent election defeated Granite State native Aaron Gill, New Hampshire is an ideal state to pursue the ideals of the Free State Project.
Warden bristles – only slightly – when it’s suggested that Free State participants are little more than libertarians with an updated mission statement and goal.
“That’s a bit of an oversimplification” he said. “But certainly there are libertarian-leaning participants among the Free Staters who are mostly people with families and good paying jobs who take a nonviolent, nonaggressive approach and who believe that less government is better government.”
Warden believes government creates more problems than it solves, a view echoed by the Free State Project’s official literature.