State tax collections shot up more than 8 percent in December, as taxpayers and businesses continue across Massachusetts continue to generate more revenue for state government than official forecasts.
Tax collections of $2.842 billion last month were $230 million or 8.8 higher than collections in December 2019, and midway through fiscal 2021 tax collections are running $372 million or 2.7 percent higher than the same period of in fiscal 2020.
In conjunction with signing a $45.9 billion fiscal year 2021 budget on Dec. 11, Gov. Charlie Baker's budget office also upgraded its tax revenue assumption by $459 million to $28.44 billion, in part due to fiscal 2021 tax collections that were at the time running $142 million or 1.3 percent ahead of fiscal 2020 collections through five months.
The latest full-year estimate represents a decline of $1.156 billion or 3.9 percent from actual fiscal year 2020 collections of $29.596 billion, a drop that has yet to materialize. If it does, there's some cushion based on the first six months of tax collections; if it doesn't the state could be in a significantly better position for fiscal 2022 budget talks.