By GARRY RAYNO, InDepthNH.org
CONCORD — State revenues are continuing where they left off last fiscal year, in surplus.
For August state levies produced $147.8 million in revenues including $1 million in recoveries from pandemic expenses with lottery earnings, and business and hospitality taxes producing significantly more than budget writers estimated.
The total for the month is $25 million more than the revenue plan for the year to produce a balanced budget and $6 million more than a year ago.
For the first two months of the 2023 fiscal year, state revenues total $264 million, which is nearly $40 million more than estimates, but only $1.8 million more than a year ago, when state revenues were more than $400 million over estimates.
The rooms and meals tax was the single biggest revenue producer in August although the figures reflect July activity.
The levy produced $35.1 million for August, which is $9.2 million more than estimates and $300,000 more than a year ago.
According to the Department of Revenue Administration, the figures reflect a 1.5 percent increase in restaurant activity over a year ago and a 7.2 percent increase for hotels.
For the year to date, the tax produced $64.3 million, which is $9.2 million more than estimates and $2 million more than a year ago.
Business taxes produced $24 million in August, which is $6.2 million over estimates and $800,000 more than a year ago.
According to the DRA, “the largest contributor to the business tax revenue this month was from estimated payments. Tax notices this month were relatively high compared to historical August data.”
For the year to date, business taxes produced $57.7 million which is $10.7 million above estimates and $2 million more than a year ago.
Lottery earnings benefitted from a large Mega Millions jackpot producing $18.4 million for the education trust fund. The figure is $8.1 million above estimates and $9 million more than a year ago.
The tobacco tax produced $22.4 million for the month, which is $400,000 below estimates, but $200,000 more than a year ago.
For the first two months of the fiscal year, the levy produced $40.8 million, which is $4.8 million less than a year ago, and $3.8 million below estimates.
The real estate transfer tax produced $20.6 million for the month, which is $2.1 million above estimates, but $2.9 million less than a year ago.
For the year to date, the levy produced $44.5 million which is $700,000 less than a year ago, but $8.4 million more than estimates.
According to the DRA, real estate transactions were down 16.1 percent over a year ago, and values were down 12.4 percent.
Liquor earnings, as well as the interest and dividends and insurance taxes were a little above estimates for the month, while the communications tax and the statewide education property tax collections were below estimates for August.
The Highway Fund comprised largely of the gas tax and vehicle registrations collected a little less than estimates for the first two months of the 2023 fiscal year, at $44.6 million, which is $500,000 below estimates and $1.6 million less than a year ago.
The Fish and Game Fund received $4.3 million for the first two months of the fiscal year, which is $200,000 more than estimates, and $100,000 more than a year ago.
Garry Rayno may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.