- Massachusetts Department of Revenue
Ann C. Dufresne
Revenue Commissioner Amy Pitter today announced that preliminary revenue collections for August 2012 totaled $1.417 billion, a decrease of $8 million, or 0.6%, from collections last August, but with collections in sales and use taxes showing a 4.0% gain over last August. Motor vehicle sales tax collections had the largest percentage increase at 7.0%. Baseline revenue collections, which represent revenue before it is adjusted for tax law changes or timing related events, were up 2.7% over last August.
Collections for the second month of the fiscal year were $38 million below the August benchmark, largely due in part to lower than expected withholding, income estimated payments, income tax payments with bills and returns, as well as sales and use tax collections. Even though collections in year-to-date estimated personal income and corporate and business taxes continue to exceed benchmarks, total FY13 collections to date are $69 million below benchmark. Some of the year-to-date revenue shortfall was partly caused by a withholding shift that took place from July to June of this year, which was mentioned in last month’s press release.
The August benchmark was based on the FY2013 General Appropriation Act tax revenue estimate of $22.011 billion, which reflects the FY2013 consensus tax estimate of $21.950 billion adjusted for the impact of two subsequent changes affecting revenues: delayed FAS109 deductions and enhanced DOR tax enforcements. The FY13 revenue estimate also reflects a downward adjustment of $21.55 million to take into account the projected impact of the subsequently enacted two-day sales tax holiday on August 11-12, 2012.
“August, like July, is typically another small month for revenue collections because there are no quarterly estimated payments due for most businesses and individuals,” Commissioner Pitter said. “We also won’t begin to get a picture of the full impact of the sales tax holiday on tax collections until September 20 when businesses are required to file their sales tax returns for the previous month’s activity.”
Income tax collections for August were $775 million, down $19 million or 2.4% from a year ago and $24 million below benchmark. Income tax estimated payments of $18 million were $5 million or 20.7% lower than a year ago and $6 million below benchmark. Withholding tax collections of $748 million were down $14 million or 1.8% from a year ago, $12 million below benchmark.
August sales and use tax collections of $436 million were up $17 million or 4.0% from August 2011, $8 million below the August benchmark.
August corporate and business tax collections of $44 million were down $6 million or 11.9% lower than a year ago, $0.2 million below the August benchmark.