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Mass. tax collections higher in December

BOSTON (AP) -- Massachusetts' revenue department says tax collections in December rose more than 9 percent from the same month the previous year.

The December report released on Thursday was the first since Gov. Deval Patrick's administration revised downward by $540 million its revenue projections for the fiscal year that ends July 1.

Total tax collections in December exceeded the revised benchmark for the month by $133 million.

Revenue Commissioner Amy Pitter attributed part of the increase to one-time business tax settlements during the month. She also noted that companies may have accelerated employee bonus or dividend payments in December because of the potential of federal taxes going up in January had no "fiscal cliff" deal been reached.

Sales tax collections fell more than 3 percent last month compared with December 2011.