Virus Outbreak New Hampshire

Shoppers, some wearing protective masks, wait in line May 14, 2020, outside a Home Depot store in Londonderry, N.H.

(The Center Square) – Despite the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, New Hampshire's state revenues continue to outperform budget writers' expectations.

Tax receipts for January totaled $181.4 million, which is about $30 million above the projections for the state's two year budget, and $43.3 million more than a year ago, according to the New Hampshire Department of Administrative Services' monthly revenue report.

The state collected $41.9 million in business taxes in January, $13.5 million more than the budget plan, and $18.5 million more than a year ago, the report noted.

New Hampshire's sizzling real estate market continued in January as the real estate transfer tax produced $24.7 million, or $12.3 million more than budget projections. Year to date collections were nearly $26 million above initial estimates.

Tobacco taxes were up $3 million over initial projections in January, with about $19.1 million collected by the state.

Beer and liquor revenue, as well as the real estate transfer and communications taxes were all slightly above projections for the month.

Still, the state's revenue gains were offset by declines in gasoline taxes, and meals and rental tax collections, with less people driving and some businesses closed due to the pandemic.

Collectively, meals and rental taxes for January were $21.2 million, or about $9.1 million below projections and $5.9 million below the previous year.

Meals were down by 18.6% and hotels were down by 39.7% compared to January 2019, according to the state Department of Revenue Administration.

Through January, the state's highway fund generated $142.8 million, which is down $4.9 million year-to-date. State officials attributed the decline to lower gas tax collections.

Another low point for state coffers in January was court fines and fees, which were down by $200,000 respectively, according to the report.

Year to date, the state has collected $1.21 billion, which is $84.1 million or about 7.5% above initial budget projections.