• October tax collections off $48M in Mass.


    BOSTON (AP) - Massachusetts tax collections in October were $48 million below those in the same month a year ago, and missed official benchmarks for the fourth consecutive month in this fiscal year.

    Amy Pitter, the state's revenue commissioner, said Monday that Massachusetts appears to be seeing a slowdown in the pace of recovery from the recession.

    The state collected slightly above $1.4 billion in taxes last month, down 3.3 percent from October 2011.

    October collections were $162 million below benchmarks for the month, and revenue through the first four months of the fiscal year that started on July 1 is running $256 million below projections.

    Pitter said higher-than-anticipated income and corporate tax refunds contributed to the weak October performance.

    "October is a relatively small month because no quarterly estimated payments are due for individuals or corporations and it is traditionally the largest corporate and business refund month of the year," said Pitter.

    Sales taxes were $13 million higher than the same month a year ago.

    Lagging collections prompted Gov. Deval Patrick last month to order tighter controls on state spending and hiring. But the administration has not yet revised its revenue estimate for the full fiscal year.

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