By GARRY RAYNO, InDepthNH
CONCORD — Strong business tax returns and a rebounding hospitality industry provided a cushion for state revenues in September.
In figures released by the Department of Administrative Services late Tuesday afternoon, state revenues produced $336.8 million in September, which was $36.5 million more than the budget plan developed for the fiscal 2022 budget, and $56 million more than a year ago.
For the first quarter of the fiscal year, revenues total $599 million, which is $55.4 million more than estimates and $64 million more than a year ago.
Businesses taxes continued to produce above estimates as they have for more than a year, producing $203.6 million for September, which is $44.7 million more than estimates and $58 million more than a year ago.
For the first three months of the fiscal year, business taxes produced $259.3 million which is $48.9 million more than estimates and $64 million more than a year ago.
The Department of Revenue Administration said the increase in September returns is attributable “to an increase in corporate estimate payments and tax notice payments offset by decreases in return and extension payments and increases in refunds.”
The rooms and meals tax, which has suffered the biggest impact during the pandemic, rebounded the last few months and in September produced $35.2 million, which is $8.4 million more than estimates and $500,000 more than a year ago.
For the first quarter of the fiscal year, the levy produced $97.5 million, which is $7.8 million more than a year ago, and $21.5 million over estimates.
The September returns, which reflect August activity, show a 20.5 percent increase over a year ago for meals, and a 38.7 percent increase in activity for hotels.
Liquor revenues, court fines and fees, and the insurance and beer taxes were all slightly over estimates, but all other levies were below estimates for the month.
One of the biggest deficits was in the tobacco tax, which has been performing well above estimates since Massachusetts banned menthol and flavored tobacco.
For September the tax produced $18 million, which is $6 million below estimates and $6.3 million less than a year ago.
For the first three months of the fiscal year, the tax produced $63.6 million, which is below estimates and last year’s revenues by a little less than $5 million.
The interest and dividends tax was also below projections by $2.1 million, producing $17.8 million, which is $1.3 million less than a year ago.
And the real estate transfer tax, which has reflected the hot real estate market, is now reflecting a bit of a slow down.
The levy produced $22.1 million, which is below estimates by $1.4 million, and $1.3 million less than a year ago.
Other levies producing less than anticipated include sweepstakes revenues, which were off by $2.7 million, securities revenues, and the communications and utility property taxes.
Like the hospitality industry, the state’s highway fund, which is collected mainly from the gas tax and vehicle registrations, produced more than anticipated for the month by about $800,000, at $32.5 million, and $66.1 million for the first three months, a surplus of $5.8 million.
The fish and game fund was slightly below estimates at $2.4 million for the month and $4.8 million for the year.
Garry Rayno may be reached at email@example.com.