March 1, 2013


Secretary Glen Shor
Executive Office for Administration and Finance
State House, Room 373
Boston, MA  02133

Secretary Richard A. Davey
Massachusetts Department of Transportation
10 Park Plaza, Room 3170
Boston, MA  02116

RE: March 1, 2013 Certification of MBTA Base Sales Tax Revenues and Dedicated Sales Tax Revenues for FY2014

Dear Secretary Shor and Secretary Davey:

Pursuant to Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 10, Section 35T, this letter certifies for FY2014 the following amounts: 1) MBTA Base Sales Tax Revenue; and 2) MBTA Dedicated Sales Tax Revenue. This certification was done in consultation with the Department of Revenue. The details of the two calculations are shown on the accompanying attachment.

1) Base Sales Tax  Revenue Amount: The base revenue amount for fiscal 2014 is calculated by comparing the change in the calendar year 2012 consumer price index for all urban consumers for the Boston metropolitan area as determined by the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the United States Department of Labor to the per cent increase in gross sales tax revenues received pursuant to Massachusetts General Laws chapters 64H and 64I for the same period.  The calendar year 2012 “gross sales tax revenues” is defined as sales tax receipts by taxpayers from nonexempt sales, less amounts abated, refunded, or reimbursed. The attachment shows the calculation of the base revenue amount. The percentage increase in base sales tax revenue is the lower of the percent increase in gross sales tax revenues or the inflation rate.

I certify to you that the base revenue amount for fiscal 2014 increased by an amount of $12,428,239 compared to the FY 2013 figure of $786,866,936 due to the inflation rate of 1.579%.  The base revenue amount for FY 2014 is $799,295,175.

2) Dedicated Sales Tax Revenues (projected):  The projected dedicated sales tax revenue is the amount of “monies received by the Commonwealth equal to one percent of the gross receipts of a sale as defined by the provisions of MGL chapter 64H and one percent of the sales price of a purchase as defined by the provisions of chapter 64I from that portion of the taxes imposed under the provisions of said chapters 64H and 64I as excises upon the sale and use at retail of tangible property or of services, and upon the storage, use or other consumption of  tangible property or of services, including interest thereon or penalties but not including any portion of such taxes imposed on the sale of meals as defined in paragraph (h) of section 6 of chapter 64H”. Based on the most recent FY2014 consensus revenue estimate of $22.334 billion, the dedicated sales tax revenue amount for fiscal 2014 is projected to be $703,595,038, as calculated in the attachment.

Any shortfall between dedicated sales tax revenue and the base revenue certified on March 1, 2013 will be made up by quarterly transfers from the General and Highway Funds, pursuant to the MOU and Chapter 10, Section 35T(b). Based on the attached calculations, the shortfall between FY 2014 dedicated and base tax revenues is estimated to be $95,700,137.

Should you have any questions on the calculation of this amount, please feel free to call me or Howard Merkowitz, Deputy Comptroller. 


Sincerely yours,

Martin J. Benison



Attachment (calculations)


Senator Stephen M. Brewer, Chairman, Senate Ways and Means        
Representative Brian S. Dempsey, Chairman, House Ways and Means       
Steven Grossman, Treasurer and Receiver – General, TRE        
Amy Pitter, Commissioner of Revenue        
Douglas Howgate, Senate Ways and Means Budget Director        
Samuel Goldhar, House Ways and Means Budget Director





Calculation 1: Base Revenue

The base revenue amount was calculated as follows:

Change in inflation index for the Boston metropolitan area for calendar 2012 (annualized, non-seasonally adjusted)


1.579 %



Growth in gross sales tax revenues, from calendar 2011 to 2012





Allowable base revenue growth (lesser of sales tax growth or inflation, but not greater than 3%)





Current year’s base revenue (FY 2013)


Growth Factor


Upcoming year’s base revenue (FY 2014)



Calculation 2: Dedicated Revenue

The projected dedicated sales tax amount was calculated as follows:


Fiscal Year 2014

March 1, 2013 Certification

Projected Sales and Use Tax Collections, Exclusive of Meals Tax



Percentage due to the MBTA(*)       

´ 16%



FY 2014 Projected Dedicated Sales Tax Revenue





FY 2014 Base Tax Revenue



Difference, FY2014 Dedicated Minus Base Revenue                 --$95,700,137