WASHINGTON, March 8 Only half of U.S. states met
their forecasts for withheld taxes last month after taxpayers
made last-minute financial moves in 2012 for fear of having to
pay higher federal tax rates in 2013.
Economic newsletter The Liscio Report published on Friday,
said that compared with 77 percent that met or exceeded
expectations in January.
At the same time, collections shrank from last February by 1
percent, on average. In January, they grew 6.7 percent.
Withheld taxes, which an employer takes from an employee's
paycheck and pays directly to the government, are a good
barometer of revenue levels. States in the thick of crafting
budgets for fiscal years beginning in July are eager for
"This sharp decline pretty much confirms the shoving of
bonuses and certain stock options into 2012 to escape higher
taxes," the newsletter reported. "Although most of our tax
contacts knew they would not make their previously forecasted
February collections, they did not revise those estimates ..."
Tax cuts passed under former President George W. Bush were
set to expire at the end of 2012, and economists and political
leaders warned that without a compromise, the country would fall
off a so-called "fiscal cliff."
Many U.S. taxpayers sold off investments or made other
financial moves they had planned for the future during the
waning days of 2012 in order to avoid potentially steep tax
bills in the new year. This burst of taxable income affected
In the final quarter of 2012, states' tax revenues likely
grew 5.7 percent from the last quarter of 2011, Rockefeller
Institute of Government reported on Wednesday.