CONCORD, N.H. — The hospitality industry is nearly back to pre-pandemic levels as reflected in state revenues for August.
Overall, state revenues continue to perform better than budget writers anticipated, producing $10.4 million in surplus mostly led by business, rooms and meals, and real estate transfer taxes.
The rooms and meals tax produced more than any other levy in August at $34.8 million, $8.3 million more than estimates and close to the $37.2 million it produced in August 2019 before the pandemic. The levy’s rate was reduced in this budget.
According to the Department of Revenue Administration, meal revenue was up 35 percent over a year ago, and hotel activity up 65 percent.
Under the current budget, $10 million of rooms and meals revenue was moved into a separate fund for municipal revenue sharing.
Total state revenue for August was $141.8 million, which is $20.9 million more than a year ago, and $15.3 million more than produced in 2019.
For the first two months of the fiscal year, state revenues total $262.2 million, which is $8 million more than a year ago, and $17.9 million more than the revenue plan for fiscal 2019.
For August, business taxes produced $23.2 million, which is $11.2 million more than anticipated, and $7.1 million more than in fiscal year 2019.
The DRA said the increase is due to “an increase in estimate, tax notice and anomalous extension payments offset by a decrease in return payments and an increase in refund payments.”
The real estate transfer tax produced $23.5 million for August, which is below estimates by $400,000. The figure is $5.1 million more than a year ago, and $6 million more than in fiscal year 2019.
The DRA said the number of transactions was down 7.7 percent from a year ago, but the values were up 27.1 percent.
The tobacco tax, which has performed better than estimates for the past 18 months, was below estimates for August producing $22.3 million, which is $1 million less than anticipated, and $1.4 million less than a year ago, but still ahead of the revenue plan for the fiscal. year.
Revenues from the liquor commission, insurance premiums and securities were ahead of estimates for the year, while revenues from the interest and dividends, communications and utility property taxes were below estimates as were Lottery Commission returns.
The Highway Fund is also rebounding this fiscal year producing $43.2 million, which is $3.8 million more than estimates, and $2.1 million more than a year ago.
According to the Department of Safety’s Bureau of Road Toll Operations, fuel consumption is up 8.34 percent over a year ago.
And Fish and Game revenues of $1.8 million are slightly below estimates for the month, but slightly ahead for the first two months of the new fiscal year.
Garry Rayno may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.