Puerto Rico's July-through-October revenue collections are nearly on target, with receipts coming in just $1 million below budgeted estimates.

The commonwealth collected $2.13 billion of revenue in the first four months of fiscal 2011, which began July 1. While income and property taxes are performing better than expected, corporate tax receipts for July through October are down about $34 million from budgeted projections. Various revenues, specified as "other revenues," are also $34 million below estimates.

The strong personal income tax collections and property tax receipts help offset the sluggish business tax returns. Individual tax and property tax collections from July through October are $38 million and $23 million, respectively, above budgeted projections. Motor vehicle excise taxes are also $10 million more than expected.

"Individuals' tax collections year to date reflected a 10.8% increase compared to the previous year," according to an October revenue report compiled by the Government Development Bank for Puerto Rico, the commonwealth's fiscal agent. "On a year-over-year basis, individuals' tax collections increased 38.5% during the month of October 2010 when compared to October 2009."

While year-to-date revenues are $1 million below budgeted estimates, they are $63 million below revenue collected during July through October of last year.

July through October sales tax collections are up 1.8% over the same period last year and total $356.5 million. Once the commonwealth collects $572 million of total sales tax revenue to repay outstanding sales tax bonds, those revenues will begin to flow into Puerto Rico's general fund.

Standard & Poor's on Nov. 29 revised Puerto Rico's outlook to positive from stable due to expenditure reductions and tax increases that officials have implemented since January 2009. Standard & Poor's rates the commonwealth BBB-minus. Moody's Investors Service rates it A3 with a negative outlook.

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