State Revenues for May Continue Downward Slide

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PAULA TRACY file photo

The crowd gathers for the start of the State House Bicentennial celebration in Concord on June 2, 2019.

By GARRY RAYNO, InDepthNH.org

CONCORD — State revenues for May are nearly one-quarter below what budget writers estimated would be returned.

The rooms and meals, and business taxes were well below estimates. With many closed restaurants and hotels, the rooms and meals tax was below estimates by 58 percent, while businesses taxes were 27.4 percent below estimates, although May is not a large month for businesses returns.

Overall, state revenues for May produced $86.9 million while estimates were $112.3 million, a decrease of 23 percent.

The budget plan projected rooms and meals would produce $24.6 million, while the levy returned $11.1 million. Department of Revenue Administration officials said May collections from hotels were down 85.5 percent and restaurants were 53.2 percent below a year ago.

To date, the revenue has produced $308.7 million, $29.2 million below estimates and $10.8 million below last year.

Business taxes produced $16.2 million for May, down $6.1 million from estimates. For the year to date, business taxes have produced $572.8 million, down $160.2 million from a year ago, and $80.7 million from the 2020 budget plan.

DRA officials say the decrease is largely due to decreases in returns and estimate payments.

The interest and dividends tax produced more revenue than estimates but is still well below expectations for the year.

The levy raised $3.8 million, double the estimate for the month. For the year, the interest and dividends raised $81.1 million, down $17 million from a year ago and $18.4 million below this fiscal year’s budget plan.

Tobacco taxes produced $15.8 million in May, down $1.2 million from estimates, but $187.7 million for the year to date, or $6.2 million above estimates.

Liquor revenues are pretty much on target, producing $10.8 million for the month and $119.1 million for the year to date.

The real estate transfer tax is also holding steady, producing $10 million in May, down $2.5 million from estimates, but $147.8 million for the year to date, or $3.6 million more than estimates.

Earlier this week, the House Ways and Means Committee produced revenue estimates for the remainder of the biennium, indicating revenue for fiscal year 2020 which ends June 30, will be from $125 million to $199 million less than the $2.63 billion projected in the budget, and from $230 million to $395 million less than the fiscal 2021 estimate of $2.66 billion.

The committee believes the state is facing a $600 million to $355 million revenue shortfall for this biennium.

Garry Rayno may be reached at garry.rayno@yahoo.com

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