State revenues down $5 million for August
CONCORD – State revenues for August are down about $5 million from what budget writers had hoped due largely to shortfalls in the tobacco, communications and real estate transfer taxes.
The state took in $106.5 million while budget writers predicted $111.5 million for the second month of the 2013 fiscal year.
For the first two months of the fiscal year, revenues are $2.9 million more than predicted with the state taking in $206.2 million.
However, the tobacco tax revenues were $19.5 million for the month, instead of the predicted $22.5 million, with the shortfall for the fiscal year at $4.5 million. Lawmakers lowered the tobacco tax 10 cents a pack last year with the belief the lower price would spur sales.
Tobacco tax stamps worth $1.8 million were sold to distributors on the last day of August and will be counted in September revenues, according to Linda Hodgdon, Department of Administrative Services commissioner.
The communications tax was $1.5 million less than predicted, returning $5.4 million for the month. The lower number reflects the new state law prohibiting taxing Internet access, according to Hodgdon. The prohibition is expected to cut state revenues by $6 million annually.
The rooms and meals tax was the biggest revenue producer for the month, returning $27.1 million, which is $900,000 more than anticipated.
Business taxes were also ahead of estimates, returning $14.5 million for the month, ahead of schedule by $1.3 million.
However, liquor revenues were down for the month, returning $13.2 million instead of the $14.2 million budget writers predicted.
Also, the real estate transfer tax was below estimates, returning $8.2 million, down $1.4 million from estimates.
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