February Revenue Collections Total $1.057 Billion
(Boston, MA) - Revenue Commissioner Amy Pitter today announced that preliminary revenue collections for February totaled $1.057 billion, $46 million or 4.5 percent more than the state took in last February. Higher than expected income tax withholding and sales tax revenues offset weaker income tax payments and corporate/business collections to end the month $25 million above the monthly benchmark based on the revised FY13 revenue estimate of $21.496.
Tax collections since the fiscal year began last July total $13.395 billion, $500 million or 3.9 percent more than a year ago and $332 million above the year-to-date benchmark.
Commissioner Pitter warned that the year to date benchmark figures still reflect factors created by the uncertainty over federal fiscal policy that Massachusetts has been noting since December. “February is typically the smallest month of the year for new revenue. Revenue collections were just slightly above the monthly benchmark because of higher than expected withholding payments. That increase was likely a result of the timing of bonus-related payments and we also saw some businesses again shifted payments this time from March to February.”
Massachusetts also continues to feel the effects from a delay in opening the federal filing season with income cash refunds remaining below expectations. Refunds totaled $404 million in February, down $4 million from last February. Year to date refunds are still down $70 million from the same period last year and $75 million below the year to date benchmark. However, income refunds are expected to accelerate throughout the remainder of the tax filing season.
Income tax collections in February totaled $495 million, $40 million or 8.8 percent more than a year ago and were $28 million above the monthly benchmark. February income cash estimated payments of $10 million were the same as a year ago. Year-to-date income cash estimated payments totaled $1.382 billion, up $192 million or 16.2% from the same period last year, and $131 million above the year to date benchmark.
Sales tax collections for February totaled $383 million, up $11 million or 2.9 percent from the same period a year ago and $5 million above February benchmark. Year-to-date collections totaled $3.458 billion, up $62 million or 1.8 percent from the same period last year, but $14 million below anticipated year to date collections.
Corporate/business tax collections of $28 million were $14 million or 33.4 percent lower than a year ago and were $15 million below benchmark. Year-to-date collections total $938 million.