NH House Leaders Comment on Release of Revenue Figures for Last Fiscal Year Being Nearly Identical to Target

CONCORD – House Speaker William O’Brien (R-Mont Vernon) and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Stephen Stepanek (R-Amherst) today offered the following comments in response to the release of the budget results for the fiscal year that ended on June 30, 2012 (FY12).  The figures released by the Department of Administrative Services show that the budgeted revenues were up over projections by $600,000 on a $2.19 billion, or a variance of just 3/100th of 1%.

House Speaker William O’Brien

“To come so close to revenue projections that we would exceed our estimates by a mere 3/100 of a percent is a stunning, remarkable achievement, and shows what happens when your focus is on delivering accurate figures and not trying to inflate revenues to spend more money.  This is a far cry for the prior fiscal year (FY11) when Maggie Hassan and the Democrats overestimated revenues by $116 million – even including their additional tax and fee hikes in a special session – and Governor Lynch’s estimates for FY12 which would have missed by over $122 million, and would have set the stage for yet another budget crisis.  This is a testament to our Ways and Means Committee’s hard work to get the right numbers, not politically expedient figures.  While it’s great that we ended the year with a surplus, we would have like to have seen more aggressive management of the state agencies by Governor Lynch, as we saw lapse figures – the amount that state agencies do not spend – drop by over $60 million from the prior year.  Hopefully, the next governor will be more attentive to ensuring that state agencies rein in their spending.”

House Ways and Means Chairman Stephen Stepanek

“This Legislature chose to use reasonable, responsible revenue figures to bring integrity and accountability back to the budgeting process. These revenue figures are once again a tremendous compliment to the hard work of the Ways and Means Committee. We chose to use reliable revenue targets, and not inflate estimates as the Democrats did when they were in charge so that they could spend more. Unfortunately, the Democrats’ spending was paid for at the expense of the taxpayer with 100 new taxes and fees. We’ve made clear that this legislature refuses to pass the burden off to the taxpayers by raising taxes. Lower taxes mean less of a burden on our businesses and more new jobs here.”