By Christian Wade | The Center Square
Gov. Chris Sununu is touting new tax cuts that will make it cheaper to eat at a restaurant or stay at a hotel in New Hampshire as the state’s economic recovery continues.
A two-year, $13.5 billion budget signed by Gov. Chris Sununu in June cut the state’s rooms and meals tax from 9% to 8.5 % – the lowest level in more than a decade. The tax reduction went into effect Sunday.
Sununu says the tax cut will provide relief for residents and visitors to New Hampshire and help spur the state’s economic recovery.
“As if the main course wasn’t good enough, on top of this reduction cities and towns will see an increase in the share they receive back from the revenue stream with up to $15 million in additional money for municipalities – money that goes directly to benefitting property taxpayers,” he said in a statement. “That’s a deal that can’t be beat.”
The reduced rooms and meals tax is part of a buffet of tax cuts approved by the Republican-controlled Legislature as part of the budget. They included a cut to the business enterprise tax from 0.6% to 0.55% and lowering the threshold to pay business taxes, which means less businesses will be paying the levy.
Sununu said the changes were needed to provide relief for taxpayers and businesses and help spur the state’s post-pandemic economic recovery.
Democrats argued that the spending package ignored the state’s neediest populations while including tax cuts that will help wealthy citizens and corporations.
It remains to be seen what the impact of the rooms and meals tax cut on state coffers will be going forward.
Year-to-date meals and rental tax collections were up by 26.6% over initial estimates in August, according to the state Department of Administrative Services’ latest monthly revenue report.
Collectively, meals and rental taxes for August were $34.8 million, which was about $8.3 million above projections and $3.8 million higher than the previous year.
Overall, New Hampshire’s tax receipts for August totaled $141.8 million, which is about $10.4 million above the projections for the state’s two year budget.