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Senate Passes Finance Committee Budget Largely Unchanged

June 1, 2017 Common Cents
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The Senate, after considering many amendments, made three changes to the Senate Finance Committee’s version of the State Budget bills. The Senate’s proposed total budget grows from the current operating budget’s appropriations by about $508 million, or 4.5 percent, when comparing the appropriations in each budget for the two years and not considering appropriations in other bills passed outside of House Bill 1, Section 1, from the 2015 Session.

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Proposed Business Enterprise Tax Changes Would Eliminate General Fund Contribution

May 30, 2017 Common Cents
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The Senate Finance Committee’s version of the budget proposes lowering the Business Enterprise Tax (BET) to 0.60 percent in 2019 and 0.50 percent in 2021. The proposal comes as additional business tax cuts, which became law in 2015, are still being phased in; if revenue meets a certain threshold set in statute, which is widely expected, the BET rate, which had remained steady at 0.75 percent since 2001 until dropping to 0.72 percent in 2016, will drop again to 0.675 percent in 2018. The reduction to 0.50 percent by 2021 would make the BET rate two-thirds of its level in 2015. In State fiscal year (SFY) 2015, the last SFY without a BET rate change, the BET brought in $218.2 million in revenue, of which $71.9 million went to the General Fund, the State’s primary operating fund; this revenue was raised from the portion of the tax between 0.75 percent and 0.50 percent of the BET rate.

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Senate Finance Committee Approves Amended Budget

May 26, 2017 Common Cents
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On May 24, the Senate Finance Committee approved a State Budget proposal that would appropriate $11.86 billion in state fiscal years 2018 and 2019. This proposal is $324.7 million less than the Governor’s proposed budget, which the Senate Finance Committee used as a baseline for its decisions, and $5.9 million higher than the House Finance Committee’s budget. It contains substantial differences from both versions, both in funding allocation and policy decisions.

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Food Insecurity in New Hampshire Remains Higher Than Pre-Recession Levels

21 Sep 2017

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A report released earlier this month by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service shows food insecurity nationally remained at roughly the same level in 2016, 12.3 percent of all households, as in 2015. Food insecurity is higher both nationally and in New Hampshire in the last three years than ten years ago, before the Great Recession. Although progress has been made nationally relative to the next most recent three-year period, New Hampshire has seen no statistically significant change in food insecurity between the last two three-year periods measured, and food insecurity remains higher above pre-Recession levels than the nation as a whole.