July 13, 2008

To the Honorable Senate and House of Representatives:

Pursuant to Article LVI, as amended by Article XC, Section 3 of the Amendments to the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, I am returning to you for amendment Section 8 of House Bill No. 4900, "An Act Making Appropriations for the Fiscal Year 2009 for the Maintenance of the Departments, Boards, Commissions, Institutions and Certain Activities of the Commonwealth, for Interest, Sinking Fund and Serial Bond Requirements and for Certain Permanent Improvements."

Section 8 requires the Commissioner of Revenue to report on preliminary tax revenues by the first and fifteenth days of every month. In general, I support the purpose of this section as consistent with my Administration's commitment to greater transparency in state government. However, as enacted, the language of this section is unworkable, because monthly revenues are often not available on the first day of the next month. Furthermore, reporting revenues in the middle of the month would be burdensome but would provide little useful information to the Legislature and the public.

For these reasons, I recommend that Section 8 be amended by striking out the text and inserting in place thereof the following text:-

SECTION 8. Section 6 of chapter 14 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2006 Official Edition, is hereby amended by adding the following paragraph:-

8. Shall prepare and submit a report of preliminary tax revenue collected each month. The commissioner shall submit this report to the governor, the chair and ranking member of the house committee on ways and means and the chair and ranking member of the senate committee on ways and means, on or before the fifth business day of the following month, but the commissioner shall submit the report for June on the day after the department completes the processing of June tax revenues.

Respectfully submitted,

Deval L. Patrick

This information provided by the Executive Office of Administration and Finance.