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December 04. 2013 11:19PM

State revenue continues to outpace the estimates

CONCORD — Business tax refunds totaling $12.3 million kept the state from meeting its revenue projections for November.

In figures released Wednesday, the state took in $148.5 million in revenue in November, $1.6 million less than budget writers anticipated, but $2.2 million more than a year ago.

For the fiscal year to date, state revenues totaled $689.4 million, which is $23.3 million more than estimates and $28.4 million more than a year ago.

The state took in only $500,000 in business taxes while providing $12.3 million in refunds, $10.1 million more than a year ago.

Estimates for November business taxes are $4.3 million. Without the refunds, said Administrative Services Commissioner Linda Hodgdon, state revenues for November would be ahead of estimates.

She said November business tax revenues are small compared to other months so it is difficult to project trends, noting December will be more telling when quarterly payments are due for many companies.

She said her agency sent additional personnel to the Department of Revenue Administration to help process the backlog of refund requests. The Medicaid Enhancement Tax paid by hospitals on net patient services was also below estimates by $2.1 million for unrestricted revenues.

Budget writers anticipated $77.7 million, but the state received $75.6 million, although an additional $12.8 million is expected in December due to extensions granted seven hospitals.

Total MET revenues are expected to be $181.2 million for the fiscal year, which is $3.6 million less than budget writers anticipated.

The rooms and meals tax was the biggest revenue producer for the state in November returning $22.1 million, which is $1.1 million more than estimates. For the year to date, the tax has returned $127.8 million, which is $4.5 million ahead of estimates and $6.2 million more than last year. Hodgdon said the returns show a strong showing for tourism, noting full service hotel collections were up 12 percent from last year.

The real estate transfer tax and revenues from liquor sales were also ahead of estimates for the month, while the tobacco tax was down slightly from estimates.

grayno@unionleader.com



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