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The Department of Revenue has released the November 2011 revenue report outlining the details of the month's $1.365 billion collection.

The month is something of an anomaly — the collection was less than last year's, but greater than forecast.

Commissioner Amy Pitter explained this odd dynamic. "The monthly benchmark was less than last year's collection due to the fact that DOR received more than $100 million in one-time payments in November 2010. As it turned out, DOR received settlements payments last month of more than $40 million, which helped push revenue over the reduced benchmark, but still left the collection less than November 2010."

November is a relatively small month for tax collections. There are no quarterly or estimated payments due for individuals and most corporations, so there is less revenue coming in, but refunds are still being paid to income tax and corporate tax payers who filed on extension, so there is more money going out.

Thus, the month is susceptible to revenue swings caused by receipt of one-time payments and settlements, or lack thereof.

Five months into FY12, overall collections are up $356 million or 4.7 percent from a year ago, and are $40 million above the revised (as of mid-October) benchmark of $20.010 billion

Two big revenue months, December and January, will provide a better glimpse into the track of Commonwealth revenues heading into the second half of FY12. Those are months in which fourth-quarter income tax estimated payments — which reflect taxes paid on capital gains and on interest and dividends recorded in tax year 2011– start to be tallied (with the final accounting coming in April-June).

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