(The Center Square) – New Hampshire's revenue collections continue to outperform state budget writers' projections, according to a monthly revenue report.
Tax receipts for October totalled $147.5 million, which is about $16.6 million above the projections for the state's two-year budget and $8.1 million more than the previous year, according to the state Department of Administrative Services' revenue report.
Business taxes for October totaled $26.4 million, which was $4.9 million below the state's original budget estimates and $1.9 million lower the same month last year, the agency reported.
State revenue officials attributed the lower returns in October largely due to an increase in estimate and return payments as well as an increase in refunds.
Year-to-date business tax collections totalled $285.7 million last month, which is up by more than $44 million over initial estimates and $61.5 million above the same month last year.
New Hampshire's real estate market saw gains in October with the real estate transfer tax producing $15.5 million – roughly 2% above budget projections.
Still, year-to-date real estate transfer taxes – which charges home buyers and sellers 75 cents for every $100 of property value – were nearly $1.6 million below initial estimates.
Tobacco taxes were down last month, coming in $1.7 million below initial projections, with $20.2 million collected by the state in October. Year-to-date tobacco tax collections were $83.3 million as of last month, or 7.2% below initial estimates.
Beer taxes, as well as insurance taxes, were up slightly above projections for the month, according to the report.
There were also revenue gains in meals and rental tax collections, with more businesses reopening and the restaurant and retail sectors rebounding from the pandemic.
Collectively, meals and rental taxes for October were $28.4 million, which was about $6 million above projections and abou $400,000 higher than the previous year.
Year-to-date meals and rental tax collections were $27.5 million, up by 27.9% over initial estimates, highlighting recovery in one of the state's hardest hit sectors, according to the report.
The gains were also reported despite a cut in the state's rooms and meals tax from 9% to 8.5 %, which went into effect on Oct. 1. The reduction was part of a buffet of tax cuts in the two-year, $13.5 billion budget signed by Gov. Chris Sununu in June, which also saw a reduction in business taxes.
Sununu says the tax cut will provide relief for residents and visitors to New Hampshire and help spur the state's economic recovery.
Meanwhile, the state's highway fund generated $21.3 million in October, which is up $6 million year-to-date. State officials attributed the increase to a rise in fuel consumption.