(The Center Square) – New Hampshire's state revenues continue to rise as the state's economy recovers from the pandemic, with better-than-expected tax and fee collections reported in the previous month.
Tax receipts for April totaled $434.1 million, which is about $84.6 million above the projections for the state's two-year budget, according to the state Department of Administrative Services' monthly revenue report.
Business taxes for April totaled $229.3 million, which was $73.8 million above the state's original budget estimates and $140 million above the same month last year, the agency reported.
The better-than-expected month is likely to have an impact on the state's ongoing budget deliberations, with the Senate Finance Committee hammering out details of the new spending plan. The House of Representatives approved a $13.67 billion two-year budget last month. The spending package must be approved by July 1.
Gov. Chris Sununu has said the state's increasing revenue collections have allowed the state to whittle down a projected budget deficit in the next fiscal year from $350 million to $50 million.
The state collected $116.3 million in business taxes in April, $11.6 million more than the budget plan, and $18.2 million more than a year ago, the report noted. Year-to-date collections were up by more than $100 million, or 21%, the report noted.
New Hampshire's hot real estate market continued to see gains in March, with the real estate transfer tax producing $13.7 million, or $4.2 million more than budget projections.
Year-to-date real estate transfer taxes – which charges homebuyers and sellers 75 cents for every $100 of property value – were nearly $37 million above initial estimates.
Tobacco taxes were up $7.7 million over initial projections, with about $23.2 million collected by the state in April. Year-to-date tobacco tax collections are $40 million above estimates.
Beer and liquor revenue, as well as the real estate transfer and communications taxes were all slightly above projections for the month.
Still, the revenue gains were offset by declines in meals and rental tax collections, with fewer people driving and some businesses closed due to the pandemic.
Collectively, meals and rental taxes for April were $26.5 million, or about $3.2 million below projections but $10.4 million above the previous year. Year-to-date meals and rental tax collections were down by 19.8%, according to the report.
As part of his budget proposal, Sununu has called for cutting the rooms and meals tax from 9% to 8.5 % – the lowest level in more than a decade – and reducing the business enterprise tax from 0.6% to 0.55% to provide relief for businesses and help spur the state's economic recovery.
Year-to-date, the state has collected $2.46 billion in tax and fee revenues, which is $212.1 million or about 9.4% above initial budget projections.