For the third month in a row, the New Jersey’s revenues exceeded initial forecasts. Overall, February revenues were $156 million, or 9.5 percent, ahead of forecasts. The State Treasury Department credits a second month of strong sales tax collections combined with the continued over-performance of the state’s income tax collections.

“February was another strong month for state revenues,” says State Treasurer Andrew Sidamon-Eristoff. “The steady gains we have been seeing over the past three months add up to a very encouraging trend."

On a year-over-year basis, collections in February were up 6.6 percent for the sales tax and 5.1 percent for the income tax. For July through February of fiscal year 2013, income tax collections were 8.6 percent higher, and sales tax collections were 2.1 percent higher than those receipts over the same period of time last year.

Overall, the $14.89 billion the state has collected during the first 8 months of fiscal year 2013 represents growth of 4.4 percent over the previous year.

“The ongoing strength in income and sales taxes combined with a growth in realty transfer tax collections could be a sign that a turnaround in the housing market is starting,” explains  Dr. Charles Steindel, the Department of the Treasury’s Chief Economist. “(It) reflects an ongoing improvement in the state’s economy.”

February saw a more than 50 percent year-over-year increase in collections of the realty transfer tax which is paid when real estate transactions are completed. With February’s gain, collections of the tax in fiscal year 2013 are running 7.2 percent higher than their level in the prior fiscal year.