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March 01. 2013 2:42PM

State revenue down 13% in February, down $41m for the year so far

CONCORD – For the second month in a row, state revenues were well below what budget writers believe are necessary to have a balanced budget.

Revenues for January and February are $28 million below estimates.

Although February is a small month for revenues, the state took in $71.1 million, $10.7 million less than budget writers' estimate of $81.8 million.

For the fiscal year to date, revenues are down $41.1 million, or 3.8 percent, although $34 million of the shortfall is from the Medicaid Enhancement Tax hospitals pay for in-patient services. The hospitals and the state disagree over how much is owed.

The most significant shortfall in revenue for February is the telecommunications tax which produced $2.5 million, while estimates were for $6.6 million, a 62 percent decrease. For the year to date, the levy is short $13.2 million.

Lawmakers last year barred the state from taxing Internet access. Department of Revenue Administration Commissioner Kevin Clougherty predicted the change in law would cost the state between $18 million to $19 million.
Business taxes are down $4.4 million, which includes $4.3 million in refunds. For the fiscal year, businesses taxes are $6 million below estimates of $268.6 million.

Refunds of $1.3 million in interest and dividends taxes also impacted revenues for the month.

Tobacco taxes continue to perform below estimates of $15.4 million, returning $13.2 million. The tobacco tax was reduced in the last budget by 10 cents a pack.

Department of Administrative Services Commissioner Linda Hodgdon said the good news for the month are the real estate transfer and rooms and meals taxes, both continue to surpass expectations.

grayno@unionleader.com



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