Tuesday, September 2, 2008
Robert R. Bliss
blissr@dor.state.ma.us
617-626-2369

Strong withholding collections offset weaknesses in other revenues; year to date collections slightly below benchmark absent one-time boost

Revenue Commissioner Navjeet K. Bal today announced that preliminary revenue collections for August 2008 totaled $1.309 billion, up $51 million or 4.0 percent from last August.

Total tax collections were $8 million above the August monthly benchmark based on the FY09 revenue estimate of $21.402 billion. The monthly surplus was the result of strength in withholding collections which totaled $751 million, up $69 million or 10.1 percent from a year ago. Some of that performance may be due to the timing of receipt of withholding taxes for the month. Sales and corporate/business tax collections were weak in August; both were below benchmark.

"While August is not a big month for revenue receipts, last month's collections were aided by strong withholding collections, said DOR Commissioner Navjeet K. Bal.

Sales tax collections overall totaled $343 million, the same as last August, but $10 million below benchmark due in large part to a decline in motor vehicle sales tax. Income tax collections for August totaled $782 million, up $78 million or 11.1 percent over a year ago and $46 million over the monthly benchmark. Corporate and business tax collections totaled $31 million, down $12 million or 27.9 percent and $20 million below the benchmark in what is not generally a strong month for these collections.

Overall collections for FY09 are now $136 million or 5.3 percent ahead of a year ago and $44 million over benchmark, fueled largely by a one-time corporate settlement of $80.3 million received last month. However, without a one-time corporate settlement of $80.3 million received last month, total collections to date would be about $36 million below benchmark.

FY2009 Year-to-Date Tax Revenue through August 31, 2008 pdf format of 0908graph.pdf

August 2008 Tax Collections Summary (in $ millions - preliminary as of September 2, 2008) pdf format of August_2008_TaxSummary.pdf