Policy Notes State Revenue Forecast for

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1 ...to raise new ideas and improve policy debates through quality information and analysis on issues shaping New Hampshire s future. One Eagle Square Suite 510 Concord, NH (603) Fax: (603) Board of Directors Sheila T. Francoeur, Chair David J. Alukonis Michael L. Buckley William H. Dunlap Eric Herr Richard Ober James Putnam Stephen J. Reno Stuart V. Smith, Jr. Donna Sytek Brian F. Walsh Policy Notes State Revenue Forecast for Martin L. Gross, Chair Emeritus Todd I. Selig Kimon S. Zachos Emeritus Executive Director Stephen A. Norton Deputy Director Daniel R. Barrick January 2013 Economist Dennis C. Delay Office Manager Cathleen K. Arredondo

2 2 Author Dennis Delay Economist Daniel Barrick Deputy Director About this paper This paper, like all of the Center s published work, is in the public domain and may be reproduced without permission. Indeed, the Center welcomes individuals and groups efforts to expand the paper s circulation. Copies are also available at no charge on the Center s web site: Contact the Center at or call Write to: NHCPPS, 1 Eagle Square, Suite 510, Concord NH 03301

3 Policy Notes: State Revenue Forecast for State revenue forecasts for FY The coming six months in the State House will be largely devoted to the crafting of the next two-year state budget. And the foundation of this process will be the estimates for state revenues for that period, the 2014 and 2015 fiscal years. Barring the adoption of any new revenue sources, these estimates will essentially define for policymakers the amount of money available for spending on state programs. Forecasting state revenues which include most state tax receipts, fees, and several other sources of state dollars is never easy. But the economic uncertainty of recent years brought about by the Great Recession has made revenue forecasts even more difficult and more crucial to the budget-writing process. Getting those numbers right makes the business of running state government much smoother through the following two years. Revenue forecasts that are far off-base, however, often require heads of state agencies to make mid-year shifts in the allocation of state dollars or changes in program administration. Baseline forecast In recent years, the New Hampshire Center for Public Policy Studies has produced revenue forecasts as a way to assist policymakers as they develop the state budget. 1 The Center s November 2012 State Revenue forecast assumes that the New Hampshire and U.S. economies will continue a modest recovery, with no recession in 2013 or This comes after several years of essentially flat revenue growth, following the single year 5-percent drop in state revenues from FY2008 to FY2009 in the immediate aftermath of the Great Recession. Our baseline forecast also assumes that the global economy gains traction, that credit quality in the U.S. improves, and that housing markets rebound strongly from post-recession lows. 1 A complete description of the forecast method is contained is Counting on the Future: New Hampshire's State Revenue Estimates, May 2011, available at

4 Policy Notes: State Revenue Forecast for Table 1: November 2012 NHCPPS State Revenue Forecast Actual and 11/2012 NHCPPS forecasts e 2014f 2015f Revenue Category Total Total Total Total Total Business Profits Tax $ $ $ $ $ Business Enterprise Tax Subtotal Meals & Rooms Tobacco Transfer from Liquor Commission Interest & Dividends Insurance Communications Real Estate Transfer Transfers from Lottery Commission Transfers from Racing & Charitable Gaming Tobacco Settlement Utility Property Tax Property Tax Retained Locally Court Fines & Fees Securities Revenue Utility Tax Board and Care Beer Tax Racing & Games of Chance Gambling Winnings Tax Other Subtotal 2, , , , ,236.6 Net Medicaid Enhancement Revenues (MER) Recoveries Subtotal 2, , , , ,290.6 Total Unrestricted Revenue $ 2,194.7 $ 2,189.8 $ 2,205.5 $ 2,243.6 $ 2, % -0.2% 0.7% 1.7% 2.1%

5 Policy Notes: State Revenue Forecast for Among the major assumptions in our revenue forecast: The New Hampshire Business Profits Tax forecast relies on the Congressional Budget Office Economic Profits projection as published in August 2012 The New Hampshire Business Enterprise Tax forecast relies on a projection of Wages Paid to Covered Workers in New Hampshire, from the May 2012 New England Economic Partnership forecast for New Hampshire. The New Hampshire Meals and Rooms forecast relies on a projection for New Hampshire Personal Income, from the May 2012 New England Economic Partnership forecast for New Hampshire. The New Hampshire Interest and Dividends forecast relies on a projection of Personal Income dividends, interest and rent, from the May 2012 New England Economic Partnership forecast for New Hampshire. The New Hampshire Real Estate Transfer forecast relies on a projection of real estate sales, from the May 2012 New England Economic Partnership forecast for New Hampshire. Alternative scenarios Alternative scenarios for the baseline forecast were developed using the October 2012 U.S. Macroeconomic Outlook Alternative Scenarios from Moody s Analytics. The path for U.S. Gross Domestic Product (compared to the base case forecast) was calculated for each of the six economic alternative scenarios estimated by Moody s Analytics. The following table shows, on an index basis, the difference in U.S. GDP, compared to the base case forecast for U.S. GDP. Table 2: Alternative Scenarios for U.S. Gross Domestic Product. Alternate Scenarios Developed from October 2012 Macro Economic Forecast from Moody's Economy.com Probability Baseline % S1 Scenario: Stronger Near-Term Rebound % S2 Scenario: Mild Recession % S3 Scenario: Deep Recession % S4 Scenario: Protracted Slump % S5 Scenario: Below-trend Long-term Growth % S6 Scenario: Oil Price Increase, Dollar Crash, Inflation The Stronger Near-Term Rebound scenario assumes that the employment and housing markets grow more than expected. The Mild Recession scenario assumes that U.S. business confidence falls and the European debt crisis worsens significantly. The Deep Recession scenario assumes that hiring falls with a decline in the stock market and Greece leaves the Euro-zone. In each of these alternate scenarios, we assumed that economic activity in New Hampshire would mirror the national experience that is, that GDP percentage variations in the alternative scenarios in Table 2 would be the same in New Hampshire as in the U.S.

6 Policy Notes: State Revenue Forecast for Approximately $460 million collected in New Hampshire State Revenue each year does not vary with fluctuations in the economy. These state revenue sources include the Statewide Education Property Tax, the Utility Property Tax, and the Medicaid Enhancement Tax. Those amounts were subtracted from total New Hampshire State Revenue to derive the portion of state tax revenue that responds to economic conditions. The balance of state revenue (which includes business taxes, the Meals and Room Tax, the Interest and Dividends Tax, the Real Estate Transfer Tax, etc.) was adjusted from the baseline forecast, based on the multipliers in Table 2. After adding back in the portion of state revenue that does not fluctuate with the rest of the economy, we derived a forecast for total New Hampshire revenue. The results of the alternative scenarios are show in Figure 1 below. Figure 1: New Hampshire State Revenue Alternative Scenarios New Hampshire Unrestricted Revenue in Millions $2,400.0 $2,350.0 $2,300.0 $2,250.0 $2,200.0 Actual Forecasts $2,150.0 $2,100.0 $2,050.0 $2,000.0 $1,950.0 Baseline (50% prob) Stronger Near-Term Rebound (10% prob) Mild Recession (25% prob) Deep Recession (10% prob) As Figure 1 illustrates, even assuming a stronger near-term economic rebound, state revenues by FY2015 will still fall short of pre-recession levels (FY2008 amount.) This underscores the degree to which absent increases in tax rates or the addition of new revenue sources lawmakers will be constrained in their ability to significantly increase spending from current levels.

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