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November Revenues Double Surplus, Keeping Receipts Just Above Plan

December 13, 2017 Common Cents

Lawmakers seeking to pass bills that require spending will be watching the surplus carefully next session. Any bills that call for spending money during the 2018 Legislative Session require either more revenue to come in than expected under the current State Budget or a new revenue source to be established. November’s tax revenue receipts gave legislators reason to be optimistic, but the surplus may disappear if receipts from subsequent months fall lower than planned. December is a key month for business tax revenues, for example, and a small percentage change in collections may erase all of November’s gains or add to them. State policymakers may also face challenges from unexpected needs or Keno revenue shortfalls, which would hamper the State’s ability to pay its obligations to subsidize full-day kindergarten.

Revenue collected during November for New Hampshire’s General and Education Trust Funds exceeded planned receipts by $5.5 million (5.4 percent), buoyed by lower business tax refunds than last November but reduced due to lower than anticipated Real Estate Transfer Tax receipts, which were $1.4 million (9.7 percent) below plan and only slightly above this month last year. So far in State fiscal year (SFY) 2018, which began July 1, the General and Education Trust Funds have a cash surplus of $11.0 million (1.6 percent) above plan.

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The two primary business taxes together are $11.7 million (6.6 percent) above plan, with the Business Profits Tax outperforming the Business Enterprise Tax relative to both last year’s receipts to date and this year’s State revenue plan.

However, two key tax sources, the Meals and Rentals Tax and the Real Estate Transfer Tax, continue to perform under plan. The Real Estate Transfer Tax has brought in only $0.7 million (1.0 percent) more revenue than it did from July to November of SFY 2017, although the sales data from October (which provides November revenues) show the number of transactions up from last year while prices remained essentially the same;  this is the reverse of trends in recent months toward higher prices and lower sales volumes resulting from a housing market with low supply.

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The Insurance Premium Tax is well above plan in percentage terms (32.9 percent), but this performance has provided only $2.4 million in cash surplus dollars through November 30. Early payments from the Utility Property Tax also boosted the Education Trust Fund in November, although those receipts may lead to a reduced total for next month. The Tobacco Tax underperformed in November, but remains above plan and year-to-date relative to SFY 2017. Revenues from the Communications Services Tax remain on target (albeit well below last year’s revenues), and revenue from the Lottery Commission is up $2.5 million (9.7 percent) relative to plan while Liquor Commission revenue is down $0.7 million (1.1 percent).

For more information on State revenue collections, see NHFPI’s Revenue in Review resource.

 

November Revenues Double Surplus, Keeping Receipts Just Above Plan (PDF)

 

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New Data Show Food Insecurity Levels Declining Prior to the COVID-19 Crisis

10 Sep 2020

tree with coins

According to data released on September 9 by the United States Department of Agriculture, food insecurity levels in New Hampshire continued to decline during 2019, prior to the onset of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. The report outlines the trends of reduced food insecurity in the nation and in New Hampshire, declining from the higher levels resulting from the Great Recession of 2007 to 2009. The overall improvements to the state economy through 2019, along with the effectiveness of key nutritional aid programs, did contribute to lower levels of food insecurity, although the benefits of the economic recovery did not reach all Granite Staters in an equal or timely manner. Although food insecurity levels declined through the years preceding 2020, the current crisis facing Granite Staters is not reflected in these 2019 data. The recent economic pressures on many individuals and families with lower incomes in New Hampshire have been severe, and current levels of food insecurity are very likely to be substantially higher.