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Continuing signs of economic recovery are contained in the December revenue report DOR released today.

The monthly collection of $2.072 billion was up $186 million or 9.8 percent from last December, and year-to-date for the first half of FY11, collections of $9.595 billion are now $755 million over benchmark, with December alone coming in at $240 million over benchmark.

December is a significant month for tax collections, as withholding payments start to reflect year-end bonuses, final corporate/business estimated payments are due and some tax payers begin to make their final individual income estimated payments for the year in December (while the payments may be made up until Jan. 15).

The biggest drivers of the month's receipts were income tax withholding ($46 million over benchmark) and income tax cash estimated payments ($141 million over benchmark). In both cases, it is possible that some of the revenue that might have been collected in January from these two categories was instead sent to the Commonwealth in December.

The tax collection summary for the month provides more details.

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