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Mass. reports January tax revenue gains

BOSTON (AP) -- Massachusetts is reporting that January tax collections were up more than 12 percent.

Revenue Commissioner Amy Pitter said Tuesday that preliminary revenue collections were up $249 million over the same month a year ago. They also beat the state's revised monthly benchmark by $173 million.

Pitter said the January numbers should be viewed with caution because they reflected continued uncertainty among investors and businesses stemming from the last-minute "fiscal cliff' deal in Washington.

She also said a delay in the opening of the federal tax filing season may explain a 72 percent drop in income tax refunds, compared to January 2012.

Income tax collections rose more than 18 percent, but sales tax collections inched up less than 1 percent, reflecting slower than anticipated holiday sales in December.