Mid-month December tax collections up by $39 million

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STATE HOUSE, BOSTON, DEC. 20, 2016….Two weeks after Gov. Charlie Baker slashed $98 million in spending from the state budget, state revenue department officials reported to lawmakers Tuesday that tax collections over the first two weeks of December were up by $39 million over the same period last year.

The 4 percent increase in over-the-year tax collections does not include $51 million in November receipts that were processed in December.

Baker came under fire from legislative leaders two weeks ago for his unilateral spending cuts, which Baker said were necessary to head off larger budget problems in the face of soft tax collections and unfunded fixed costs in the $39.25 billion budget drafted by the Legislature.

After Baker made his cuts, legislative leaders said they would keep an eye on December tax collections and possibly send Baker a budget bill restoring funds for programs and services that he targeted.

More than five-plus months into fiscal 2017, state tax collections total $10.522 billion. That’s $277 million, or 2.7 percent greater than last year at the same point, Revenue Commissioner Michael Heffernan wrote in a letter Tuesday to House and Senate Ways and Means committee leaders.

At mid-month, income taxes were up 9.2 percent and sales and use taxes were up 6.8 percent, according to Heffernan’s letter.

“We do not use the mid-month figures to project full-month results, because collections are heavily weighted to the end of the month, making the mid-month results unreliable as predictors,” Heffernan wrote.

Copyright 2016 State House News Service

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