Report says N.H. '11 revenues short by $54m



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New Hampshire's evenues are on track to be more than $54 million short of the amount projected in the current state budget, according to the Josiah Bartlett Center for Public Policy, whose president warned that "the budget outlook has to be cautious."According to a report issued by the Concord-based center, with 10 of the 12 months of revenue collected for fiscal year 2011, revenues are on track to be $54.6 million short of the budgeted amount. "The shortfall will not only require action to balance the last budget but also reduces the base used to project revenue growth for the 2012-13 budget currently under consideration," said Charlie Arlinghaus, president of the center.Arlinghaus said total revenues will be 1.6 percent lower than 2010."The House and the governor have had a running debate over the revenues needed to balance the budget. Half of their $307 million difference is based on the FY 2011 shortfall and its effect lowering the revenue base for the following years. At least on that half of their dispute, there really isn't an argument anymore. The only question is how much of a deficit we will end the year with," said Arlinghaus.Meanwhile, the Senate Ways and Means Committee, which is responsible for setting the amount of revenue budget writers can use to build a new state budget, are projecting that revenues will come in $41 million higher than the amount projected by the House in its biennial budget. The committee estimates revenues will grow 1 percent next year and 2.8 percent the following year.The projection gives the budget committee more money to use in adding back spending cuts made by the House, but not as much as many had hoped for. The Senate pane's estimate is $249 million lower than the amount Gov. John Lynch used in his budget. -- JEFF FEINGOLD/NEW HAMPSHIRE BUSINESS REVIEW

 

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