This paper presents the results of an update to our model of the potential impact of expanded gambling on New Hampshire. While several assumptions in the state’s gambling debate have changed in this new legislative session, the specifics of that debate vary depending on the piece of legislation being considered. We also know that proposals can change as they move through the policy-making process. Thus, we modeled several scenarios and present the results here. Our findings include:
It is difficult to accurately predict when the state would see any new revenue from a license fee or casino operations.
There is the possibility of a significant license fee, but that amount will depend on the tax rate imposed on gambling revenues and developments in the Northern New England gambling market.
While expanded gambling will yield revenue to the state, our model’s estimates of the social costs of problem gambling suggest no long-term net state benefit when the tax on casino operations is set at 30 percent or less. That calculation changes as the tax rate is increased.
The size of the investment has a significant impact on state revenues associated with expanded gambling.
While expanded gambling would result in job increases, the number of long-term jobs depends on the size of the investment.
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.
The Center’s updated State Revenue forecast for FY2014-2015 assumes that the New Hampshire and U.S. economies will continue a modest recovery, with no recession in 2013 or 2014. 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 model calls for small growth in 2014 and 2015 over current revenue levels: 1.7 percent increase in 2014, and 2.1 increase in 2015. Read the full report by clicking on the link above.
This paper is an update to the Center’s May 2010 report, “Analyzing the Impact of Expanded Gambling on New Hampshire.” Our goal here is to provide insight into the potential implications for New Hampshire of new casinos in Massachusetts, partly in response to a request from the House subcommittee that reviewed gambling legislation. We have updated our model to reflect financial changes – inflation, reductions in lottery revenues, and other factors – as well as developments in New England’s gambling landscape over the past two years. Most specifically, recently passed legislation in Massachusetts allows for three casinos and a slot machine parlor.
Our models continue to suggest that expanded gambling in New Hampshire would bring a net economic benefit to the state – in terms of economic development and state revenues – even with new casinos in Massachusetts and after offsetting costs associated with pathological gambling. However, our model does not account for the potential negative effects of expanded gambling on New Hampshire’s “brand” and attractiveness as a destination for tourists and others nor does it consider the question of the proliferation of gambling activities or any political concerns associated with a single industry or organization playing such a large role in financing the state’s activities.
In adopting a menu of reforms to New Hampshire’s Retirement System (NHRS) last month, lawmakers had one essential goal: reduce the state’s pension costs without increasing costs for local communities.
Compared to the status quo, the reforms will lower overall pension costs for public employers as a whole. But the impact will vary considerably across state, county and local government. Recent lawsuits challenging aspects of the reform package make it difficult to gauge the precise impact. But under every likely scenario analyzed by the Center, the new reforms will yield year-over-year savings for the state, while local governments – the towns, cities and school districts who pay into the retirement system – will see higher pension costs, year over year.
As with every budget conversation, the debate over the 2012-13 budget highlighted innumerable details of how New Hampshire raises and spends money. But to get a firm grasp of this budget, it may help to focus on two overarching questions: How different is this budget from past spending plans? And what impact will its largest policy changes have over the next two years?
Negotiators with the House and Senate begin meeting this week to bridge their differences in the 2012-13 state budget. While the two bodies’ proposals are similar in bottom-line figures, there are significant changes in certain areas of state expenditures and revenues.
With the full House expected to vote on the FY2012-13 budget proposal tomorrow, the New Hampshire Center for Public Policy Studies has prepared this summary of the spending plan. We’ve broken down the House budget by state agency and include the Governor’s budget proposal and spending levels in the current two-year budget for comparison.
Calling a $500 million a “likely starting point” the NH Center for Public Policy Studies presents further scenarios – improved revenue collection due to a pick-up in the economy and a likely 5% cut in spending – in which the hole NH budget writers will have to fill shrinks to $132 million.
In the summer of 2009, Governor John Lynch established the New Hampshire Gaming Study Commission. The Commission was tasked with undertaking a “thorough and comprehensive review of various models for expanded gaming” in New Hampshire.
The Commission retained the New Hampshire Center for Public Policy Studies to conduct technical research and analysis for its review. Our first report, A Brief Report on Gambling in New Hampshire, was published in December, 2009. In this second report, the Center documents the development of a series of inter-related models that analyze the impacts of expanded gambling in New Hampshire.
The Commission requested that we develop a model that supports a “prudent calculation” of the costs and benefits of expanded gambling. Any models were to be based on an understanding of the variation in geography, size and type of expansion, and its impact on state revenues, substitution, economic development, crime, and any offsetting expenditures associated with the social or behavioral implications of expanded gambling.
Our models are based on balanced assumptions about the amount of capital investment, the size and type of facility, facility location, population and income levels, and the potential action of other states (i.e. Massachusetts) to produce a series of estimates of the revenues to the state, economic development implications, and the financial costs of social impacts associated with gambling.
In summer of 2009, Governor John Lynch established the New Hampshire Gaming Study Commission. The Gaming Study Commission was tasked with undertaking a “thorough and comprehensive review of various models for expanded gaming” in New Hampshire. This analysis was to include an assessment of the current status of gambling in New Hampshire, a review of various models of expanded gambling, and a review of the revenue generation capacity, community impacts (including social and economic implications), and regulatory needs of such a change.
This paper combines information on appropriations and revenues at the four levels of government in New Hampshire – state, county, town and local education – and is designed to give a comprehensive picture of public services in the state, a profile of where the burden of funding these services lies, and how it is changing over time.
This report is one in a series of analyses performed by the Center of state budget activities that describes how the state appropriates financial resources, and how the state’s priorities – as measured by state appropriations – have changed over time.
This analysis focuses on one aspect of the state’s policy activities: public health. Public health functions cover a vast array of services that include both direct services designed to increase specific population’s health and more general programs designed to improve the health of the entire population.
This report provides a description of how the state appropriates financial resources and how the state’s priorities – as measured by state appropriations – have changed over time. As the state faces a potential budget deficit, there will be significant discussion regarding approaches to curbing spending on the primary drivers of state appropriations. This analysis is also designed to highlight what the state is not spending resources on.
It will come as no surprise to those experienced with the state budget that New Hampshire is facing a potential budget deficit in the next – 2010 and 2011 – biennium. In the 1990’s, the state’s independent auditor declared that the state had a structural deficit – a situation in which natural growth in expenditures exceeded natural growth in state revenues. As a result of this ‘biennial budget problem’, every two years the legislature must carefully address spending growth and, in most biennia, find new revenue to balance the budget.
The upcoming biennium may be different, and in important respects, more problematic than in the past. As a result of a changing revenue picture, states across the country are adjusting both revenue and spending plans to account for the economic dislocation associated with the current economic downturn. New Hampshire is doing likewise.
The Center's analysis is unique in New Hampshire, because we examine not only the potential shortfall in state revenues, (which could be as much as $286 million in the next biennium), but also that State's growth in demand for state services and potential increases in the state’s financial participation in local education costs. These trends will require the Governor and the Legislature to make changes in the state budget totaling between $372 and $495 million dollars over the next three years, beyond current state law.
The Center's analysis is not meant to predict what will happen in the future. Instead, it provides policymakers with an estimate of the scale of changes that will have to be implemented to balance the budget in the next biennium in the absence of a strong economic recovery.
Spending reductions will obviously be an important part of the conversation. And while issues such as controls in administrative costs will be a component of that discussion, the state will have to look to more significant changes in spending, perhaps taking the lead from other states pursuing the privatization of state activities. Spending reductions alone, however, will not be sufficient to resolve the budgetary problems. Any budgetary conversation will also, therefore, have to include discussions about revenues – further capitalization of the state’s activities, increases in tax rates, and the introduction of gambling or a legacy tax, as examples.
Medicaid is one of the primary drivers of state expenditures across the country and in New Hampshire. In New Hampshire, however, little long term trend analysis is available to assess the growth in the Medicaid program. Beginning four years ago, the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) began providing quarterly expenditure reports to the Legislature. This data provides a unique opportunity to assess potential budget challenges in the upcoming biennium, as well as emphasize the importance of having access to such expenditure data, an issue highlighted by Governor Lynch in his budget address in February of 2007.
One of the Center’s projects since its inception in 1996 has been to address issues regarding the state government’s budget. This paper is the latest in our series of reports that illuminate the budget process, state programs and the state budget. All of these papers are available at no cost on the Center’s website: www.nhpolicy.org 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.
During ‘budget’ season state governments across the country struggle to project changes in revenue generated through that state’s tax structure. These revenue projections are critical to the budget process, as they define constraints the existing revenue system puts on state spending. Because budgets in most every state must, by law, be in balance, revenue projections that are low, relative to actual experience, will create constraints on spending that are too great. Conversely, projections which are high relative to actual experience can create deficit spending.
This report examines New Hampshire State revenue trends in the last fifteen years. We also present a simple range of forecasts for New Hampshire State revenue through FY2009, using historical trends to predict what will happen in the future. Finally, we compare these simple trends to the revenue estimates provided by the Governor and the House Ways and Means Committee.
This paper investigates the changes in spending in the state General Fund budget between state fiscal years 1997 and 2007. It calculates the ten-year change in policy priorities as expressed by the per capita appropriations made for 85 different state activities in inflation-adjusted dollars over the ten year period. It also identifies the five programs that accounted for nearly all real spending increase (above constant dollars per capita).