State tax collections fell 5 percent in December


State tax collections in December of nearly $2 billion tumbled 5 percent from a year ago and missed budget benchmarks by $87 million, according to the Department of Revenue. Income tax estimated payments last month fell $93 million below benchmark and Revenue Commissioner Amy Pitter said in a statement that officials were not sure whether two fewer deposit days in December, compared to a year ago, might lead to a jump in January collections.

Pitter said officials would have a more complete picture later this month, the State House News Service reported. Income tax estimated payments in December were down $90 million, or 32 percent, but DOR officials said that since those payments are due on January 17, collection totals for that category should be considered for the months of December and January together.

Tax collections over the first half of fiscal 2012 are up $252 million, or 2.6 percent, over the comparable period in fiscal 2011 and running $49 million below benchmarks, which were revised upwards after this year’s state budget was approved in July 2011. Fiscal year-to-date income tax collections are up 4.1 percent and sales taxes over the first half of the fiscal year are up 1.6 percent compared to fiscal 2011. Corporate tax collections in December plummeted $62 million or 19.5 percent from December 2010.