Work on State Budget Continues

In Capital Comments published earlier this week, Senator Bob Odell reported on the state budget. It’s now Thursday and one thing is clear: There’s still plenty of work to be done in crafting the Granite State’s two-year budget that starts July 1.

“The budget process is far from finished,” the Concord Monitor reported today in a front page story.

This week the Senate Finance Committee voted against new taxes on capital gains, estates and current gambling as proposed by the House. The panel offered other revenue options including to allow slots at three NH racetracks and two North Country sites and adjust an existing Business Enterprise Tax credit.

“The Senate’s new revenues replace plans in the House budget to impose a new 5 percent capital gains tax, an 8 percent tax on estates worth more than $2 million and a 10 percent tax on winnings from existing gambling like the lottery, bingo and trips to out-of-state casinos,” the Nashua Telegraph reported.

About the senate vote, the Union Leader reported: “The panel expects $185 million from licenses and revenue that expanded gambling would bring. It increased taxes on tobacco, room and meals and boat registrations, suspended a major business tax credit and tapped a malpractice insurance fund for $110 million.”

Of local note, the committee voted to close the New London District Court and courts in Milford and Colebrook.

The state is struggling to address increased demands for services and a looming $600 million shortfall between spending and state revenue.

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