January state revenue collections up almost 7% over last year

The following is the February report from the state Department of Revenue stating that they had a banner year in state revenues. It should also be noted that lottery receipts are at an all-time high. Yet after state assessments on the City of Melrose, our net state aid in the Governor’s budget is $6,200. That means we have $6,200 more to fund all of our public schools and all of our City. This makes no sense to me…

There either needs to be Proposition 2 1/2 or revenue sharing. When revenue sharing does not exist, the burden is always on the local government and the local homeowner, through increased taxes and fees. That is a regressive policy that the State needs to change.

January Revenue Collections Total $2.430 Billion

(Boston – Wednesday, February 4, 2014) – Revenue Commissioner Amy Pitter today announced that preliminary revenue collections for January totaled $2.430 billion, $143 million or 6.2 percent above revenues collected last January. Better than expected performance in withholding and corporate/business tax collections offset relatively weak performance in sales tax collections to end the month $83 million above the monthly benchmark based on the FY2014 revised revenue estimate of $23.2 billion.

Revenue collections seven months into the fiscal year totaled $13.194 billion, $856 million or 6.9 percent more than at this time last year and $83 million above the year-to-date benchmark.

“January collections not only met but also exceeded the newly revised monthly benchmarks. Much of the January surplus is due to time-shifting in withholding collections, income tax refunds and corporate/business refunds,” said Commissioner Pitter. “Withholding collections reflected what DOR noted in December’s revenue report that at least $30 million in anticipated December withholding was actually paid in January.”

Commissioner Pitter also noted that income tax refunds were lower in January most likely because the IRS delayed the opening of the tax filing season and many taxpayers file federal and state returns around the same time. Income tax refunds, as well as corporate/business refunds, are expected to increase in February or March, offsetting a significant portion of January revenue surplus.

Total income tax collections for January were $1.682 billion, up $86 million or 5.4 percent from last January and $59 million above the monthly benchmark. Year-to-date income was $7.718 billion, $431 million or 5.9 percent over last year and $59 million over the year-to-date benchmark.

January withholding collections totaled $985 million, $80 million or 8.9 percent more than last January and $33 million above the monthly benchmark. So far this fiscal year, withholding collections are $6.110 billion, $266 million or 4.5 percent over last year and $33 million above the year-to-date benchmark.

Estimated income tax payments brought in $682 million for the month, $7 million or 1.0 percent less than last January and $10 million over the monthly benchmark. Year-to-date estimated income tax collections totaled $1.464 billion, $92 million or 6.7 percent over last year at this time and $10 million over the year-to-date benchmark.

Income tax payments with returns or bills brought in $28 million for the month, $2 million or 6.5 percent less than last January and $3 million above the January benchmark. Year-to-date income tax payments with returns or bills totaled $370 million, $90 million or 32.1 percent over last year at this time and $3 million over the year-to-date benchmark.

Corporate and business tax collections for January were $55 million, $19 million or 53.2 percent above last January’s collections and $37 million above the monthly benchmark. Year-to-date corporate and business tax collections totaled $1,001 billion, up $91 million or 10.0 percent from the same period last year and $37 million above the year-to-date benchmark.

Sales and use tax collections for January totaled $521 million, up $25 million or 5.0 percent from last January and $8 million below the monthly benchmark. Collections through seven months of the fiscal year totaled $3.267 billion, $192 million or 6.2 percent more than the same period last year and $8 million less than the year-to-date benchmark.

About these ads

4 responses

  1. An increase of only $6200 is crazy. And it does need to change. As ordinary citizens, what can we do to help make that change happen? And will a change in the governor this year improve the situation or make it worse?

    1. When general operating expenditures, such as health insurance, snow removal, and other factors, are more than 2 1/2 percent, and state aid is stagnant, cities and towns across Massachusetts are obviously, regardless of the economy or the soaring costs of real estate, in a constant deficit position. When Proposition 2 1/2 was created, it capped spending, and this cap has not been increased since 1981. But it also then forced the Commonwealth to provide additional assistance by means of education aid, lottery aid, and general governmental aid to cities and towns to make up some of the difference. What we have seen more of is increased unfunded mandates from the state and federal government, a consistent withdrawal of federal support, be it in public safety, Title I/early childhood, free and reduced lunch programs, and early intervention programs, as well as an incredible decrease in local aid since 2001. In fact, Melrose has less local aid today than we had during that time. You can’t cap revenue, then take it away in terms of additional assistance, maintain unfunded mandates on schools and communities, and think everything is going to be OK, because it’s not. That’s elementary economics.

      After the Governor’s budget, House Speaker DeLeo made it a point to say that he felt the Governor’s local aid numbers were not adequate, and thankfully we have a State Representative, Paul Brodeur, who has served locally and understands the importance of local aid. As you review candidates for the open Senate seat, and as you look at the candidates for Governor, the question is twofold: 1) What is their position on local assistance and the role of state government in assisting localities, and 2) Are they willing to take on a broken system that doesn’t make much sense economically?

      Some of the things you can do: Be engaged in the conversation, be engaged in the campaign for Governor, and talk to state officials.

      The greater question is how have we been able to get through these years and advance? Through reform, doing more with less, and relying on citizens like yourself to volunteer more, to become more involved in making sure our community maintains our high quality of life. We are, I believe, at a point where we can’t wish away these issues or these problems.

  2. You want more revenue – tell the Melrose Police to start writing tickets for traffic violations. I recently saw a car turn right on red, against the sign, right in front of a Melrose police car, with no response. In fact, it seems like many drivers routinely disobey our traffic rules. Kill two birds with one stone and start writing tickets.

    1. Good point, Kevin. I’ll certainly make sure the Chief and the patrol and command staff are aware of what you saw. The number one public safety concern we have in Melrose, as we heard in neighborhood meetings last year, was enhanced enforcement of moving violations in neighborhoods. The Chief and patrol commander have been cognizant of that. My hope is that it is being enforced by the patrol staff. Obviously in your case that didn’t happen. We plan on having more neighborhood meetings this year, and I’m sure that will be brought up again.

      However, it should be noted that all revenue from moving violations goes directly to the state. Revenue should never be a reason to write tickets, and Melrose does not have quotas. The reason to write tickets should be to maintain the safety of other drivers and enforce the law. I would argue, however, that if that revenue were to go back into police departments and local government, it certainly wouldn’t hurt the motivation—although I would hope our police force wouldn’t need any additional motivation to enforce the laws of the City.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 367 other followers

%d bloggers like this: