The revenue differences between the two plans will likely come down to proposed policy changes. Most notably, the governor’s budget relies on casino gambling for $80 million over the biennium. The full extent of revenue-related policy changes that the House may endorse is not yet know, but it is expected to approve most of the Governor’s recommendations, with the obvious exception of gambling.
The governor’s budget assumes that New Hampshire’s current tax and revenue system will yield $4.36 billion for the General and Education Funds for FY 2014-15, leaving aside collections from the Medicaid Enhancement Tax (MET). The House projects that the same funds will accrue $4.34 billion in revenue, aside, again, from the MET. The roughly $20 million difference between those two sums is due largely to an assumption by the House that the cigarette tax rate will not rise to $1.78 per pack on August 1, which it will almost certainly do under current law.
What’s more, these figures represent relatively modest rates of growth from the current biennium. The governor’s baseline projection for General & Education Fund revenue amounts to an increase of about 3 percent from what the state anticipates collecting in FY 2012-13. The House expects underlying General & Education Fund revenue growth of just 2.4 percent, a slightly slower pace, again due, in part, to the assumption about the tobacco tax rate