NASHVILLE – Tennessee sales tax collections continue to be a concern for the state’s general fund. Negative growth in sales tax collections continued in January, with overall January revenues coming in at $947.4 million, which is $16.1 million less than the state budgeted.
“January is the 20th consecutive month in which sales taxes have recorded negative growth.” Finance and Administration Commissioner Dave Goetz said. “January collections represent December holiday sales, which brought reports of positive growth at the national level, so it’s very disappointing that we didn’t have a similar experience in Tennessee.
“Despite the severe national recession, the state will continue to monitor spending in order to end the fiscal year with a balanced budget as required by the state’s constitution,” Goetz said.
On an accrual basis, January is the sixth month in the 2009-2010 fiscal year.
The general fund was under collected by $5.2 million and the four other funds were under collected by $10.9 million.
Sales tax collections were $20.4 million less than the estimate for January. The January growth rate was negative 1.86%. For six months revenues are under collected by $159.0 million. The year-to-date growth rate for six months was negative 5.72 %.
Franchise and excise taxes combined were $11.3 million above the budgeted estimate of $128.5 million. For six months revenues are over collected by $5.9 million.
Gasoline and motor fuel collections for January increased by 5.77 % but were $4.2 million below the budgeted estimate of $71.2 million. For six months revenues are under collected by $14.1 million.
Tobacco tax collections were $451,000 above the budgeted estimate of $21.9 million, and for six months they are $4.3 million over the budgeted estimate.
Inheritance and estate taxes were over collected by $1.8 million for the month.
All other taxes were under collected by a net of $5.1 million.
Year-to-date collections for six months were $185.1 million less than the budgeted estimate. The general fund was under collected by $152.3 million and the four other funds were under collected by $32.8 million.
The budgeted revenue estimates for 2009-2010 are based on the State Funding Board’s consensus recommendation adopted by the first session of the 106th General Assembly in May of 2009, and are available on the state’s Web site at http//www.tn.gov/finance/bud/budget.html.
The State Funding Board met again on December 18, 2009 and adopted revised revenue ranges for 2009-2010. The revised ranges reflect growth rates ranging from -1.50 % to -0.25 % in total taxes, and -2.35 % to – 0.85% in general fund taxes.
Based on the funding board’s consensus recommendation, the official budgeted estimates for 2009-2010 were revised in late December. The revised estimates are reflected on pages A-70 and A-72 in the 2010-2011 Budget Document. The revised estimates assume an under collection in total taxes in the amount of $161.3 million, and an under collection of $153.2 million in the general fund.