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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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October Revenues Above Plan Despite Sluggish Real Estate Transfer Tax

November 2, 2017 Common Cents
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October revenues for the General and Education Trust Funds met the State’s anticipated revenue plan based on State Budget expenditures, but the relative strengths and weaknesses of certain revenue sources and comparatively small revenue surpluses may limit the Legislature’s flexibility in future deliberations. As with earlier revenues thus far this fiscal year, the receipts did not show robust growth over the prior year or a significant revenue surplus above plan. October cash revenues for the General and Education Trust Funds were $3.2 million (2.6 percent) above plan, boosting the revenue surplus for State fiscal year 2018, which began on July 1, to $5.5 million (0.9 percent) thus far.

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Interpreting the Significance of the October County Census Data Release

October 26, 2017 Common Cents
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NHFPI recently published a Fact Sheet showing the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey estimates for counties and municipalities in New Hampshire. These one-year data provide snapshot estimates of economic indicators in the state’s counties for data collected in 2016. As they are only one-year data and rely on small sample sizes, they are less reliable than other samples, including data covering a five-year window to be released in December, at providing an accurate estimate for key indicators. However, these data provide more timely estimates of people’s income and poverty status in different parts of the state, and offer insights into the directions these indicators are moving and areas of concern.

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Unsettled Business Tax Revenues Push Surplus Upward, Offer Limited Insight for the Future

7 Dec 2018

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The fortunes of State revenues continue to rise and fall with New Hampshire’s two primary business taxes, which provided positive signs for near-term revenue but have not shown these levels are sustainable. While the two business taxes remained healthy, other revenue sources were relatively flat overall, leaving the State with a revenue surplus entirely dependent on the two business taxes. The lack of growth in other revenue sources combined with the uncertainty around business taxes creates an environment in which it will be very difficult to accurately project revenues for the new State Budget biennium.