Press Release from the House and Senate Speakers’ Offices, Aug. 17, 2011:
(NASHVILLE, TN), August 18, 2011 — The Chairmen of the Senate and House Finance Committees, Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey (R-Blountville) and House Speaker Beth Harwell (R-Nashville) today congratulated the state’s Funding Board for their accuracy in estimating Tennessee’s incoming revenue for fiscal year 2010-11. Chairman Randy McNally (R-Oak Ridge) and Chairman Charles Sargent (R-Franklin) said the Funding Board revised the final estimates earlier in the budget year than usual and were only .032 percent from the actual collections.
“We congratulate the Funding Board for hitting these numbers right on target,” said Senator McNally. “We asked them to bring us their estimates before the April collections were received so the General Assembly could finish on time this year, and they did so with extreme accuracy.”
The Tennessee State Funding Board was created by law and is comprised of Governor Bill Haslam, Comptroller Justin Wilson, Secretary of State Tre Hargett, Treasurer David Lillard and Commissioner of Finance Mark Emkes. The Board considers economic projections from the state’s top economists near the end of the legislative session before forecasting both how much Tennessee will need to close out the current fiscal year, and what to expect as far as estimates for the next budget year.
The Board projected $8.5 billion in revenues in forecasting the close of the 2010-11 budget year and were within $27.6 million of that estimate.
“The year end variance reflects barely a day’s worth of revenue,” added Sargent. “The state has benefited greatly from the Funding Board’s cautious approach in what is a very fragile economy.”
“Unlike Washington, Tennessee must balance its budget, requiring absolute accuracy in our accounting. The Funding Board predicted our fiscal future with unprecedented precision,” said Lt. Gov. Ramsey. “The quality of their work allowed the Republican majority to keep our commitment to be efficient stewards of taxpayer dollars.”
Speaker Harwell concluded, “I am very proud of the efforts of the Funding Board and their work with Chairman Sargent. In these difficult economic times, our numbers have to be on target so we can craft a responsible, balanced budget. In doing so, we have painted a sharp contrast with Washington and provided taxpayers with a clear model of what fiscally-conservative, pro-growth leadership looks like.”