NH House Republican Leaders Respond to Release of August State Revenue Figures

CONCORD – House Speaker William O’Brien (R-Mont Vernon) and House Majority Leader D.J. Bettencourt (R-Salem) today offered statements in response to the release of the state’s revenue receipts for the month of August.  Figures released by the Department of Administrative Services show that, for the month, the state took in $9.6 million in more than plan, led by business taxes, which were 34% higher than plan.  For the year, the state is now $5.1 million ahead of revenue estimates.  The report also showed that tobacco sales reversed a 5-year trend of falling and have started to increase, after the state passed a tobacco tax reduction in the recent budget.  For the month, tobacco revenues were $1.8 million higher than the state plan.

House Speaker William O’Brien

“While it’s good news that August revenue figures are ahead of the budget plan, we are coming off July figures that fell short.  This validates the legislature’s decision to use responsible revenue estimates well below those proposed by the Governor and House Democrats.  With a national economy that the struggling, as evidenced by today’s national unemployment figures that show that no new jobs were created last month, we need to take a cautious view of the months to come.  We expect that there will continue to be good months and bad months coming.”

House Majority Leader D.J. Bettencourt

“Last month, the Democrats screamed that our efforts to make New Hampshire’s cross boarder sales advantage even more competitive by lowering the tobacco tax would lead to the crashing of our tobacco revenue.  I hope they take a moment today to wipe the egg off their faces and realize that our state always benefits by having lower prices and by seizing on opportunities to further capitalize on the willingness of our high tax neighbors to give their citizens an incentive to shop in New Hampshire. While they are openly disdainful of the idea of the New Hampshire Advantage, because they want to turn the Granite State into ‘Massachusetts-North,’ thankfully Republicans know that having lower taxes gives us a huge advantage over our neighbors, and we are now seeing some results of that hard work.”