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Senate Revenue Estimates 14 Million Below House Numbers

May 17, 2017 Common Cents
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The Senate Ways and Means Committee met on May 17 to determine revenue estimates for the State’s General and Education Trust Funds, and decided that revenues would likely come in at $4,898.1 million for the State fiscal years (SFY) 2018-2019 biennium. This estimate is $14.2 million below the figure the House Ways and Means Committee produced to inform the House Finance Committee budget process. If these numbers are finalized, the Senate Finance Committee will need to use these lower figures, or add other revenue sources, to build its version of the State Budget.

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Revenues As Strong As Last Year, But Little Growth Overall

May 2, 2017 Common Cents
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New Hampshire’s April revenue numbers came in strong. Many annual taxes from the 2016 calendar year must be filed in April, so it is an important month for evaluating tax collections. March also has filing deadlines, and both are typically strong months for revenue, which informs the budget planning process and helps legislators understand the amount of year-end revenue available to allocate to other priorities. Relative to the plan the State crafts to anticipate monthly revenue, April revenues were $40.2 million above plan. While this increase above plan is certainly good news for State revenues, the increase is not solely due to a growing economy.

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House Fails to Pass State Budget, Process Moves to Senate

April 6, 2017 Common Cents
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The New Hampshire House, for the first time in recent history, has opted to not pass the State Budget bills, introduced as House Bill 1 and House Bill 2. April 6 was the deadline set by legislative leadership to pass those bills out of the House and move them to the Senate, a day often referred to as “crossover.” The Senate phase of the budget begins after April 6, and the Senate has expressed an intent to move forward with a budget in the Senate Finance Committee. However, with no House Bill 1 or House Bill 2 crossing over, the Senate has to forge an alternative path to debate and amend the budget.

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Elections Highlight Continuing Questions About Keno Revenue

8 Nov 2017

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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.