ANNAPOLIS -- Maryland sales tax collections in March not only exceeded estimates, but also exceeded actual collections for the same month in each of the past two years, signaling that a recovery is under way, the state's chief tax collector said yesterday.
"It shows you the economy is picking up," said Comptroller Louis L. Goldstein.
Sales tax collections in March -- which reflect business activity in February -- were $112.4 million, or $1.7 million higher than estimates that were revised downward in December. While breakdowns aren't available yet, Marvin Bond, a spokesman for Mr. Goldstein, said the collections probably reflect a continuation of construction activity that began to accelerate in February.
"Every month that we go that shows an improvement . . . is further evidence against a 'double dip' depression," Mr. Bond said.
The only other month in the past 15 for which actual collections exceeded collections two years earlier was December, he said.