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Congress May Reduce Funding to Key Programs Following Tax Changes

December 21, 2017 Common Cents
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The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act passed by the United States Congress on December 20 will likely lead to an increase in the federal debt, and Congress may next seek to make changes in expenditures to reduce the impact on deficits. The official estimate from the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) shows the federal debt will increase by $1.46 trillion from 2018 through 2027. A macroeconomic analysis from the JCT of the U.S. House of Representative’s similar version of the bill shows that, even with potential higher levels of economic growth following reductions in individual and corporate tax rates and other changes, the debt would still increase by $1.01 trillion in the first ten years. Independent estimates also show the tax changes will very likely add to annual deficits.

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November Revenues Double Surplus, Keeping Receipts Just Above Plan

December 13, 2017 Common Cents
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Lawmakers seeking to pass bills that require spending will be watching the surplus carefully next session. Any bills that call for spending money during the 2018 Legislative Session require either more revenue to come in than expected under the current State Budget or a new revenue source to be established. November’s tax revenue receipts gave legislators reason to be optimistic, but the surplus may disappear if receipts from subsequent months fall lower than planned. December is a key month for business tax revenues, for example, and a small percentage change in collections may erase all of November’s gains or add to them. State policymakers may also face challenges from unexpected needs or Keno revenue shortfalls, which would hamper the State’s ability to pay its obligations to subsidize full-day kindergarten.

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Elections Highlight Continuing Questions About Keno Revenue

November 8, 2017 Common Cents
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While results are still preliminary, Keno gaming appears to have been legalized in seven cities around New Hampshire as a result of Tuesday’s votes. The margin of victory in Rochester for Keno legalization was reportedly only one vote and may still be subject to change or recount, but voters appear to have legalized Keno gaming in Berlin, Claremont, Laconia, Manchester, Nashua, Rochester, and Somersworth. Voters in Concord, Dover, and Keene voted against Keno gaming legalization. Franklin had legalized Keno gaming previously, and the Portsmouth City Council decided to not put Keno on the ballot. Other municipalities, including the City of Lebanon, may make decisions regarding Keno legalization next year. These results have implications for State policy and finances.

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Job Growth Slowed in New Hampshire During 2017

11 Jun 2018

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The rate jobs were added to the economy in New Hampshire during 2017 was considerably lower than during 2016, suggesting fewer additional jobs are being filled in the state. This slowing in job growth from the higher levels seen during 2015 and 2016 may reflect that, in a growing economy with a low unemployment rate, many employers are having difficulty finding workers to fill positions.