- Massachusetts Department of Revenue
(Boston, MA) - Massachusetts Revenue Commissioner Amy Pitter today announced that preliminary revenue collections for February totaled $1.338 billion, an increase of $281 million or 26.6 percent from February 2013 and $206 million above the monthly benchmark based on the FY2014 revised revenue estimate of $23.2 billion. This is due to $207 million in tax settlements exceeding $10 million which by current law are dedicated to the Rainy Day fund.
Revenue collections eight months into the fiscal year totaled $14.531 billion, $1.136 billion or 8.5 percent more than at this time last year and $288 million above the updated year-to-date benchmark.
“Nearly the entirety of the February surplus can be attributed to significant settlement-related corporate and business tax payments,” said Commissioner Pitter. “These settlements, coupled with relatively strong withholding collections, were partly offset by relatively weak performance in sales and use tax collections and higher income tax refunds. Absent these settlement-related tax payments, the February collections would have ended the month just below the recently revised benchmark.
February has historically been the lowest net tax collection month of the year. There are no quarterly estimated payments due, sales tax collections are usually low because of the post-holiday season shopping lull in January (February sales tax payments reflect taxable January sales transactions), and it is the largest income tax refund month of the year as income tax refunds ramp up with the start of the tax filing season.
February withholding collections totaled $913 million, up $57 million or 6.7 percent from February 2013, and $21 million above the February monthly benchmark. So far this fiscal year, withholding collections are $7.023 billion, $323 million or 4.8 percent over the same period last year and $54 million above the year-to-date benchmark.
Income tax refunds totaled $439 million in February, up $34 million, ending the month $33 million above benchmark. Year-to-date income tax refunds totaled $666 million, $45 million or 7.2 percent over last year at this time and $18 million over the year-to-date benchmark.
Sales tax collections totaled $396 million, up $13 million or 3.5 percent, $12 million below the monthly benchmark. Collections through the first eight months of the fiscal year totaled $3.664 billion, $205 million or 5.9 percent more than the same period last year but $19 million less than the year-to-date benchmark.
Corporate and business collections total $251 million, including the $207 million in tax settlements, a total increase of $223 million, ending the month $222 million above the February benchmark. Year-to-date corporate and business tax collections totaled $1.252 billion, up $314 million or 33.5 percent from the same period last year and $259 million above the year-to-date benchmark.