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The Governor’s Budget Proposal, State Fiscal Years 2020-2021

March 29, 2019 State Budget
New Hampshire State House

In the second State Budget proposal of his tenure, Governor Chris Sununu prioritized the health and well-being of certain vulnerable populations while supporting certain significant new expenditures and policy initiatives with one-time funds rather than ongoing commitments. The Governor’s proposal takes advantage of a recent influx of revenue to support building and capacity projects, particularly related to the State’s health system and infrastructure, but does not shift significant revenue to local public education or back to cities and towns on a continuing basis. With a relatively strong economy in New Hampshire and favorable State revenues, budget writers have an opportunity to invest and build a stronger, more resilient economy.

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Measuring the Size of New Hampshire’s State Budget

September 11, 2017 State Budget
ruler and pages photo

Legislative deliberations during the creation of New Hampshire’s biennial State Budget often evaluate the size of budget proposals relative to the prior biennial operating budget. Debates frequently focus on the overall growth of the budget, but measurements of different subsets of the budget or comparisons relative to different baselines can create confusion and misunderstandings. Budget growth discussions during the 2017 Legislative Session included estimates ranging from 1.4 percent in the first year and 1.1 percent in the second year to a total increase of 10.5 percent. Numbers used in public debates and widely reported in the press characterizing the size of the final budget ranged from $11.7 billion to more than $12 billion.

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The State Budget for Fiscal Years 2018 and 2019

July 13, 2017 State Budget
New Hampshire State House

New Hampshire’s State Budget provides the basis through which most State activities are funded for the next two years. While the overall growth in this budget is slightly less than the growth of its predecessor, revenues projected to be available enabled the Governor and the Legislature to fund certain state-level priorities. This State Budget emphasizes care for children and youths, including through child protection, mental health care, substance use disorder treatment, and juvenile justice changes, relative to certain other priorities. Substantial tax cuts for businesses were enacted, with the potential for future revenue declines that are not likely to be fully offset by other revenue increases.

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Declining Business Tax and Other Revenues Suggest Caution for State Budget

15 Aug 2019

tree with coins

As policymakers continue to consider State Budget options and choices during the ongoing continuing resolution, understanding State revenue trends remains critical to determining the State’s ability to pay for needed services and the policy choices that affect available resources. With State Fiscal Year 2019 completed and SFY 2020 underway, recent months of revenue collections have provided some additional insight into whether the State might expect more revenue in future years. Questions remain about the future of business tax receipts in particular, which have been very difficult to predict due to recent abnormal behavior following the federal tax overhaul; however, recent data suggest anticipated declines in receipts may limit revenue going forward.