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State revenues surprise in May, but less than ’11

CONCORD &#-; State revenues for May surpassed expectations but were lower than they were last year at this time.

Total revenues for the month came in at $93.5 million, exceeding projections by $3.5 million, but $6.7 million below last May, according to the monthly report released by the state Department of Administrative Services.

The trend characterized two of the main sources of revenue: business and tobacco taxes. Business profits and enterprise taxes came in at $14.5 million, exceeding the budget plan by 21.8 percent, but down 3.3 percent from last year. For the year to date, business tax collections are up 5.9 percent over last year.

The tobacco tax generated $18.3 million in revenue, 2.2 percent higher than projections, but .3 percent lower than last year. For the year, revenue from the tobacco tax, which was cut July 1, 2011, is down 8.4 percent from last year.

Much of the overall drop in revenue compared to last year is due to a $35 million drop in Medicaid Enhancement Tax collections, amid an ongoing dispute with the state&#';s hospitals.

House Republican leaders said the fact that business and other tax revenues remained strong and on target validated their agenda.

&#';Even against the headwinds of a slowing national economy, our state&#';s economy is recovering,&#'; said House Speaker William O&#';Brien in a statement. &#';For the year, we&#';ve seen tremendous strength and confidence from our employers, and this is reflected in falling unemployment figures, a growing workforce and recovering state revenues.&#';

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