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Saturday, October 3, 2009

Tax, fee revenues $26m short

Kevin Landrigan reports in the Nashua Telegraph that state revenues at the end of September are short of the budget plan, but not as bad as they could have been.
Administrative Services Commissioner Linda Hodgdon said she took some solace September was a big revenue month, and the state’s revenue shortfall of $8.5 million was smaller than the one in July and August combined.

“We knew going into this we were going to see some negatives at the beginning of the year, and hopefully, we will see more positive going into the next calendar year,” Hodgdon said.

Senate Republican Leader Peter Bragdon, of Milford, said the shortfall will be a challenge for lawmakers but is smaller than had been feared to this point.

“We still take issue with the last minute decision when they put this budget together to raise revenue estimates by $75 million. I think we need to get later into the year to know for sure whether these estimates will hold up or not,” Bragdon said.
In the Concord Monitor, Shira Schoenberg says the state budget is showing some encouraging signs.
Colin Manning, spokesman for Gov. John Lynch, attributed the fall-off from predictions to the economy. "Revenue numbers from September show the economy continues to struggle, which is why we have to continue to watch revenues and spending very closely," Manning said.

But overall, the numbers were positive for the state.

Last month, Republicans raised alarms when revenue predictions fell $17 million short in a month that was expected to bring in just $111 million. But this month, even Senate Republican Leader Peter Bragdon was satisfied.

"Next month, October is supposed to be another high month and if that kind of performance can repeat, things will look on a better footing," Bragdon said. "It's certainly a very positive sign."

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