Says bad estimates likely to create a $200 million hole in next budget
CONCORD, NH -- Senate Finance Chairman Chuck Morse, R-Salem, has taken a closer look at revenue projections in Gov. Maggie Hassan's budget relating to the Medicaid Enhancement Tax (MET), and is voicing concerns today. Morse says his analysis reveals her MET estimates, combined with a federal match, are overinflated by over $200 million. The MET is a 5.5 percent tax paid by all hospitals in the state on their net patient revenues.
Morse urged caution over the inclusion of unrealistic revenues to balance the next state budget for 2014-2015. For 2014, Hassan estimates MET revenues will be $232 million, a 19% increase over 2013. In 2015, her total is $250 million which is
8% more than the previous year. The two years put together equal $112 million more in anticipated revenues.
“We have hard data on what the MET tax raised in 2012 and 2013,” Morse said. “It is fiscally irresponsible to include revenue projections that anticipate $112 million in growth over what the MET tax is expected to raise in the current budget. Combined with a federal match, this one area inflates Gov. Hassan's budget over $200 million.”
Morse added, “We continue to peel back the layers of this budget without the benefit of HB2 which is the written explanation of how all of the numbers in HB1 work. Despite this obstacle that the governor has created, I will remain focused on building a budget in the Senate that is based on realistic and reliable revenue projections."