By GARRY RAYNO, InDepthNH.org
CONCORD — Pandemic-impacted state revenues rebounded in September led by business and tobacco taxes.
Released Tuesday by Administrative Services, state revenues for the month are $20 million more than anticipated, almost the same as business taxes were over the budget plan.
One-quarter into the 2021 fiscal year, the state has about $6 million more than budget writers anticipated to have a balanced budget, and $53 million more than a year ago.
Business taxes for September produced $145.6 million, $20.3 million more than anticipated and $39.8 million more than a year ago.
For the year to date, business taxes have produced $196 million, which is $35 million more than predicted, and $40 million more than a year ago.
The Department of Revenue Administration said the increase in revenue is primarily due to an increase in estimated payments and extension payments from multinational corporations and a decrease in refund requests.
The extra money was offset somewhat by the rooms and meals tax returns for the month, which actually reflect August collections.
Rooms and meals taxes, the second largest source of state revenues, produced $37.4 million, or $7 million less than anticipated and $5.5 million less than a year ago.
Revenue administration officials said receipts were down 12.8 percent for meals from a year ago, and 20.5 percent for hotels.
To date, the levy has produced $89.7 million, which is $29.2 million less than the budget plan, and $23.1 million less than a year ago.
For September, tobacco taxes produced $24.3 million, which is $5.6 million more than anticipated and $8.8 million more than a year ago.
For the first quarter of the fiscal year, tobacco taxes have produced $68.3 million, $12 million more than the budget plan and $14.7 million more than a year ago.
Liquor and lottery sales were above estimates as well, liquor by $2 million and lottery by $2.1 million.
The interest and dividends tax was up slightly less than $1 million for the month, and the securities, insurance and utility property taxes were up slightly for the month as well.
The real estate transfer tax was below estimates by $2.8 million for September at $13.7 million, and below last year by $2.3 million. DRA officials said the shortfall was due to transferring $5 million to the affordable housing fund, while sales were up 16 percent and values up 18.4 percent for September.
Also the communications and beer taxes were slightly below estimates for the month.
Auditors doing the state’s financial books for the 2020 fiscal year, made an adjustment allocating $30 million of revenue collected in the 2021 fiscal year to the last fiscal year.
The change will reduce last year’s deficit which had a $144 million revenue shortfall. The shortfall will now be $114 million.
For the current fiscal year, state revenues have produced $504.2 million with the $30 million adjustment.
For the year to date, revenues are $52.8 million more than a year ago.
The Highway Fund, composed mostly of the gas tax and auto registrations, rebounded in September, producing $4.5 million more than estimates at $31.5 million but is slightly below estimates for the first three months of the year at $61.7 million.
The Fish and Game Fund continues to show a surplus in revenues, producing $2.8 million for September and $5.5 million for the year to date, which is $2.8 million more than anticipated.
This summer, the House Ways and Means Committee estimated the revenue shortfall for fiscal 2020 would be from $125 million to $199 million and from $230 million to $395 million for 2021.
In August, Gov. Chris Sununu said his office believes the shortfall would be $182 million for fiscal year 2020 and $355 million for 2021.
Garry Rayno may be reached at email@example.com.