(The Center Square) – New Hampshire's post-pandemic tax revenues continue to exceed budget writers' expectations, according to a monthly state report.
Tax receipts for June totaled $320.5 million, which is about $36.2 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 June totaled $152.7 million, which was $23.4 million above the state's original budget estimates and $46.3 million above the same month last year, the agency reported.
Year to date collections were up by more than $321.6 million, or 47.4%, the report noted.
New Hampshire's sizzling real estate market continued to see gains in June with the real estate transfer tax producing $19.2 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 $44.3 million above initial estimates.
Tobacco taxes were up $8.6 million over initial projections, with about $26.7 million collected by the state in June. Year-to-date tobacco tax collections are $49.8 million above estimates.
Liquor revenue, as well as communications taxes, were also slightly above projections for the month.
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 June were $32.3 million, which was about $100,000 above projections and $15.4 million higher than the previous year. Year-to-date meals and rental tax collections were down by 16.9% over initial estimates, according to the report.
A two-year, $13.5 billion budget signed by Gov. Chris Sununu two weeks ago reduced the state's rooms and meals tax from 9% to 8.5 % – the lowest level in more than a decade – cut the business enterprise tax from 0.6% to 0.55% and lowered the threshold to pay business taxes, which will mean less businesses paying the levy going forward.
Sununu said the changes were needed to provide relief for taxpayers and businesses and help spur the state's post-pandemic economic recovery.
Still, the state's gains were partially offset by continued declines in gasoline tax collections, with many people still choosing to work remotely and traveling less frequently.
Through June, the state's highway fund generated $241.3 million, which is down $14.7 million year-to-date. State officials attributed the decline to lower gas tax collections.
Year-to-date, the state has collected more than $2.96 billion in tax and fee revenues, which is $482.8 million or about 19.4% above initial budget projections.