Thursday, December 3, 2009
Robert R. Bliss
blissr@dor.state.ma.us
617-626-2369

Collections down $369 million for first five months of FY10; $37 million above revised benchmark



Revenue Commissioner Navjeet K. Bal today announced that preliminary revenue collections for November 2009 totaled $1.290 billion, up $33 million or 2.7 percent from last November and $12 million above the monthly benchmark based on the October 15th revision which lowered the FY10 revenue estimate by $600 million.

FY10 year-to-date tax collections total $6.827 billion, down $369 million or 5.1 percent from the same period one year ago and $37 million above the year-to-date (YTD) benchmark based on the revised Oct. 15th revenue estimate of $18.279 billion.

The November withholding collection totaled $785 million, up $11 million or 1.4 percent from November 2008, but was $20 million below the revised benchmark. November's 1.4% withholding growth was entirely the result of a calendar-related shift that inflated the month's withholding collections by $40-$50 million and was reflected in the monthly benchmark; without that shift, November withholding collections would have declined by about 4.0%, similar to the decline seen in the first four months of FY10 and consistent with the October 15th revenue estimate.

As anticipated and noted in the Department's October revenue release, November's $20 million below-benchmark result reversed most of October's $28 million above-benchmark result, reflecting a timing-related shift that was not factored into the applicable monthly benchmarks. Overall income tax collections, factoring in refunds, were $6 million better than a year ago but $5 million below the monthly benchmark.

Sales and use tax collections in November totaled $382 million, up $70 million or 22.3 percent from a year ago and were $6 million above benchmark. Factoring out the sales tax rate increase and the elimination of the alcohol exemption, collections would have declined 5.4 percent or $18 million for the month, reflecting continued softness in consumer demand, although both the baseline meals and motor vehicles sales tax collections ran slightly ahead of a year ago.

November corporate and business tax collections totaled $18 million, up $10 million from a year ago and $10 million above the revised benchmark.

"There are no quarterly estimated payments due for most individuals and corporations, and income and corporate tax refunds are relatively high in November, which, overall, is a small month for collections," said DOR Commissioner Bal.

"As was the case last year, collections in December and especially January, which is a big month for estimated payments, will provide a clearer view of the state's revenue picture going into the second half of FY10," she said.

YTD income tax collections are $488 million below those of a year ago, sales and use tax collections are up $156 million (but down 7.5 percent baseline) and corporate and business tax collections are up $29 million (but down 1.7 percent baseline).

FY2010 Year-to-Date Revenue through November 30, 2009 pdf format of nov09_ytd_revenues.pdf

November 2009 Tax Collection Summary (preliminary as of December 3, 2009) pdf format of Nov09_tax_summary.pdf