Gov. Chris Christie says February's tax collections show the state is heading in the right direction.

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Tax collections for the month, which were reported Thursday, came in 9.5 percent above initial forecasts.

Gross income tax collections led the way with a 25 percent jump over administration estimates.

This is the third month that revenue has beaten projections. But tax collections for the fiscal year to date remain $194 million below estimates.

The growth rate of 4.4 percent remains significantly below the 7.3 percent projected by the administration.

Christie says increases in income, sales and realty transfer tax collections are hopeful signs of a positive trend.

The Office of Legislative Services, meanwhile, says the state's delay in issuing tax refunds has artificially inflated revenues for the month by $120 million.


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