Gov. Maggie Hassan and Republican legislative leaders battle over the next state budget but both sides had cause to celebrate as state revenues poured in over expectations.
Landrigan: State revenues offer good news amidst feud over a new state budget
CONCORD - As state government copes with a temporary state budget, an important shoe drops and it’s good news. State revenues came in $43 million over forecast for Fiscal 2015, the year that ended on Tuesday.
Chief Political Correspondent Kevin Landrigan tells us what it says about our economy and the ongoing feud between the democratic governor and republican-led legislature.
Business taxes. A high tax on corporate profits and a low tax on business activity. Together, they raise 25 percent of all revenue.
Lawmakers and Gov. Maggie Hassan breathed a huge sigh of relief that it was only $1 million off target. That’s because returns were off badly in March and April.
These taxes say the most about consumer spending and tourism. Whether the tax is on hotel rooms and restaurant meals, real estate or sales of liquor and tobacco, they all come in over forecast. Most encouraging? It’s the healthy recovery of the housing market since this real estate tax really tanked during the recession.
Finally, taxes are just part of making the budget balance, of course you have the spending side. Hassan and GOP lawmakers disagree strongly over how big the overall budget surplus was when the last two-year budget ended on Tuesday. Lawmakers pegged it at $49 million, the governor’s own estimate way back in February was only $13 million.
How much will it really be? No one knows until an unaudited annual report is done at the end of September.
25% State Revenue
$14 Million Down in March/April
Only $1 Mil. (1.2% off) for all of last year
ROOM/MEALS TAX: 5.5% over forecast.
REAL ESTATE TAX: 10.% over forecast.
LIQUOR SALES: 1.6 % over forecast.
TOBACCO TAX: 6.2% over forecast.
MAKING BUDGET BALANCE
Revenue Surplus: $43 Mil.
Vetoed Budget Surplus: $49 Mil.
Gov. Budget Surplus: $13 Mil.*
Audited Budget Surplus: ???
*Estimate Feb. 2015