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Thursday, September 3, 2009

NH Speaker "Open" to Income Tax

After claiming New Hampshire's fiscal house "in order," NH House Speaker Terie Norelli told the Portsmouth Herald, "I'm open minded to taking a look at revenue structure in the state."

Pointing to a economic summit this fall, Norelli said state lawmakers will "'try to figure out whether the way we do things in New Hampshire is working' — and all revenue sources would be on the table."

The State legislature has already raised nearly than 40 taxes and fees across the Granite State in order to reach the current "balanced" budget, which still hinges on the court case involving the $110 million the State took from JUA malpractice fund.

Norelli was asked about state revenue reports released in August that were almost 16 percent lower than projected, in part because liquor and tobacco sales were not as robust as anticipated. The state's rooms and meals tax revenue was also off by $3.7 million, or 13 percent, despite the Legislature's move to increase that tax rate to 9 percent from 8 percent. Norelli said the figures represented "July money. And it rained all of July, so are we surprised?" When asked if she would be concerned if August revenue was also down, she said, "absolutely."
Of course, as the Union Leader reported yesterday, State revenues have come in significantly lower for August, even with an uptick in liquor and tobacco sales.

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