(The Center Square) – New Hampshire's revenue collections continue to outperform state budget writers' projections, according to a monthly revenue report.
Tax receipts for December totalled $306.4 million, which is about $31 million above the projections for the state's two-year budget and $62 million more than the previous year, according to the state Department of Administrative Services' report.
Business taxes for December totaled $188.3 million, which was $12.5 million above the state's original budget estimates and $54.7 million above the same month last year, the agency reported.
Year-to-date business tax collections are up by more than $109 million over initial estimates and $63.4 million above the same month last year.
The gains are significant in part because of a cut in the state’s business taxes that went into effect in October as part of the two-year state budget.
New Hampshire's hot real estate market drove an increase in the real estate transfer tax collections in December, producing $21 million, or 38% above budget projections.
Year-to-date real estate transfer taxes – which charges home buyers and sellers 75 cents for every $100 of property value – were nearly $9.4 million above initial estimates.
Tobacco taxes were also up last month, coming in $6 million above initial projections, with about $21.2 million collected by the state in December. Year-to-date tobacco tax collections were 1.9% below initial estimates.
There were also revenue gains in meals and rental tax collections last month, despite a reduction in those taxes that went into effect in October.
Collectively, meals and rental taxes for December were $20.7 million, which was about $3.8 million above projections but about $1.5 below the previous year.
Year-to-date meals and rental tax collections were $39.3 million, up by 29% over initial estimates, highlighting recovery in one of the state's hardest hit sectors, according to the report.
A two-year, $13.5 billion budget signed by Gov. Chris Sununu last year cut the state's rooms and meals tax from 9% to 8.5 % – the lowest level in more than a decade.
Sununu said the tax cuts are providing relief for taxpayers and businesses and helping spur the state's post-pandemic economic recovery.
"We cut the rooms and meals tax to its lowest level in over a decade and yet we still sent even more money back to cities and towns," the Republican said in a recent statement touting the impact of the tax cuts. "Instead of downshifting costs, we downshifted cash, giving cities and towns extra flexibility – a win for our citizens."