At a hearing of the Joint Committee on Ways and Means yesterday (October 8, 2009), DOR Commissioner Navjeet Bal presented testimony on revenue collections for the first quarter of the current fiscal year, and data on projections for collections going forward.
At the conclusion of her testimony, Sen. Steven Brewer (D-Barre) asked the commissioner for DOR's estimate of the shortfall, to which Ms. Bal replied, "$400 million to $600 million."
Her estimate placed DOR's view of the revenue shortfall at the higher end of the shortfall ranges presented by other economists who testified.
Many revenue forecasters, including those presenting yesterday, see signs of recovery in the economy. But the difficult part for forecasters is predicting when those signs of recovery will begin to translate into improved revenue collections, since it is widely acknowledged that a lag exists between the state of the overall economy and the health of revenue collections.
For instance, as has been previously noted in this blog, while the national economy was showing signs of distress in late 2007, the fall off in revenue collections did not appear until September 2008. Now, while the economy looks like it is getting better, revenue collection has continued to fall. When will collections stabilize and start to improve is the question that vexes forecasters.
At this point, it is probably safer to plan for a steeper decline in revenues than may actually occur, since it is far easier to respond to a scenario of increasing revenues than it is to have to later this year cut the revenue forecast — and spending — again. The administration expects to announce its revised FY10 revenue estimate next week, with spending reductions to follow.
EITC – Helping Low and Moderate Income Families in MA posted on Jan 29
EITC, also known as the Earned Income Tax Credit, has been helping low to moderate income families in Massachusetts and across the country for over 40 years. In recent months, Governor Charlie Baker and members of the Legislature have worked hard to ensure that working …Continue Reading EITC – Helping Low and Moderate Income Families in MA
DOR Homepage gets a facelift posted on Jan 14
Today, DOR unveiled a brand new homepage intended to making it easier for taxpayers to find what they’re looking for when it comes to filing and paying their state taxes. DOR’s communications team used consumer insights and online analytics to better understand how taxpayers use the site, …Continue Reading DOR Homepage gets a facelift
Did You Know Home Heating Oil is Mass Sales Tax Exempt? posted on Jan 14
In preparation for the winter months, we want to remind you that home heating oil is exempt from Massachusetts sales tax. This winter season, DOR wants you to be prepared. Here’s what you need to know when purchasing your home heating oil: Who is exempt …Continue Reading Did You Know Home Heating Oil is Mass Sales Tax Exempt?