State revenues on target for first month of new fiscal year

By Garry Rayno, InDepthNH.org

CONCORD — Revenues for the first month of the 2022 fiscal year are ahead of estimates as the state’s traditional “sin taxes” bounce back from the pandemic.

Over the last fiscal year, state revenues which were about $400 million more than estimates, buoyed by business taxes, while taxes on the hospitality industry were well below estimates.

For the first month of the new fiscal year, business taxes are on estimates, but the rooms and meals tax and the tobacco tax are well ahead of estimates.

For July, state revenues totaled $120.4 million, or $7.5 million more than anticipated in the state’s monthly revenue plan, and $13 million less than a year ago.

Business taxes produced the most revenue at $32.5 million, ahead of plan by $500,000, but down $5.8 million from last year when many businesses followed the federal collection schedule extended three months due to the pandemic, according to the Department of Revenue Administration.

Rooms and meals tax receipts, which were significantly below estimates for last fiscal year, but began rebounding toward the end the fiscal year, produced $27.5 million in July, up $4.8 million over estimates and $3.5 million above last July.

The receipts for July do not include $9.3 million monthly that is transferred to the municipal revenue sharing fund established in the two-year operating budget approved in June.

Tobacco taxes were also ahead of estimates as they have been for over a year. The state collected $23.4 million in tobacco taxes in July, $2.2 million more than anticipated and $3 million more than a year ago.

The real estate transfer tax, which has been well above estimates for the last 18 months due to the active real estate market, was about on schedule collecting $21.7 million, $100,000 less than estimates, but $7.1 million more than a year ago.

According to the DRA, the number of transactions were up 22 percent and the property values up 48 percent over a year ago.

All other state general and education fund revenues were essentially on target for the first month of the 2022 fiscal year.

The Highway Fund comprised mostly of gas tax revenue and car registration fees was $15 million for July, or $4.8 million below estimates.

While the gas tax was slightly ahead of estimates at $11 million, car registration revenue was $5.7 million below estimates of $6.2 million. The fund does not account for a change in how the cost of collecting revenue is attributed.

The Fish and Game Fund collected $2.4 million for the month, $300,000 more than anticipated.

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