House Republicans' - House Democrats Agree with Republicans: Lynch Revenue Numbers Out of Whack

Concord—State House Democrats, led by Minority Leader Terie Norelli (D-Portsmouth)  today brought forth an amendment to the state budget bill (HB1) that would set the revenue estimates at $4.5B, which is $134M less than those presented by Gov. Lynch in February.

“Apparently the Democrats are finally realizing that their own governor’s estimates were over- inflated,” said House Majority Leader D.J. Bettencourt (R-Salem).  “They wouldn’t listen to us for four years when we warned that their revenue estimates were way too optimistic, given the economic forecasts.  As a result, they left the people of New Hampshire facing more than 100 new taxes and fees, future bonding, millions of dollars in downshifting and a $1B deficit.  Now, out of nowhere, they agree with us that Governor Lynch’s revenue estimates, at $4.7B, are not realistic.”

The amendment, sponsored by Rep. Susan Almy (D-Lebanon) and Rep. Randy Foose (D-New London), attempted to pass a state budget that relied on $4.5B in revenues.   The measure was  overwhelmingly  defeated in a roll call vote , 255-94.

“I also find it interesting that the Democrats, who originally agreed with the $4.4B revenue estimates contained in HR11, are now boosting those numbers by $156M despite the fact that the revenue stream continues to fall well below their projections here in New Hampshire,” added Bettencourt. “History has showed us that they should not be in the business of revenue projecting.”

Ironically, today’s  attempt by House Democrats to increase  revenue estimates  comes on the heels of a report released last week by the Pew Center on the States which cited New Hampshire as one of the worst states in the country for estimating revenue in 2009.  Under Democrat control, New Hampshire’s figures were off by more than 25 percent, joining Arizona, North Carolina and Oregon as states that had the most difficult time estimating revenues.