Massachusetts Revenue Officials: Return $2.9 Billion to Taxpayers
The new fiscal year in Massachusetts is picking up right where the old one left off in terms of tax revenues.
The Massachusetts Department of Revenue (DOR) collected $2.6 billion in tax revenues last month. DOR Commissioner Geoffrey Snyder said revenues increased by $108 million, or 4.3 percent, over actual collections in August 2021.
"August collections increased in most major tax types in comparison to August 2021, including increases in non-withheld income tax, sales and use tax, corporate and business tax, and the 'all other tax' category," Snyder said. "The sales and use tax increase reflects continued strength in retail sales."
That is certainly good news heading into the holiday shopping season.
Two months into the new fiscal year, the DOR reported "FY2023 year-to-date collections totaled approximately $5.007 billion, which is $249 million or 5.2 percent more than collections in the same period of FY2022." The strong tax haul in the last fiscal year led to billions of dollars in surplus revenue, triggering a debate over providing relief to taxpayers.
Meanwhile, the Department of Revenue has advised Auditor Suzanne Bump that under Chapter 62F of Massachusetts General Laws, she must return $2.9 billion to Massachusetts taxpayers in the form of rebates.
The revenue cap law approved by voters in 1986 has only come into play once.
Legislative leaders have been reluctant to commit to returning the excess tax revenue to taxpayers, and in fact, there has reportedly been some discussion of repealing the law.
Lawmakers are in recess but may be called back into session this fall to deal with the tax rebate issue.