NASHVILLE – Tennessee tax collections continued their upward trend in February. Department of Finance and Administration Commissioner Mark Emkes today announced that overall February revenues were $726.6 million, which is $20.2 million more than the state budgeted.
“February sales tax collections, reflecting January spending, recorded the 23rd consecutive month of positive growth,” Emkes said. “While we believe the healthy growth rate in sales tax collections for February is indicative of an improving economy in Tennessee, we are concerned that escalating gasoline prices will soon begin to erode the positive growth trend we are now enjoying.
“In the months ahead, we will monitor very closely our collections and expenditure patterns and work closely with the Legislature in order to end this fiscal year with a balanced budget as constitutionally required.”
On an accrual basis, February is the seventh month in the 2011-2012 fiscal year.
The general fund was over collected by $23.5 million and the four other funds were under collected by $3.3 million.
Sales tax collections were $22.0 million more than the estimate for February. The February growth rate was positive 10.24%. The year-to-date growth rate for seven months is positive 6.98%.
Franchise and excise taxes combined were $3.8 million above the budgeted estimate of $36.0 million. For seven months revenues are over collected by $148.4 million. The year-to-date growth rate for seven months is 21.45%.
Gasoline and motor fuel collections for February decreased by 4.06%, and were $4.0 million below the budgeted estimate of $70.8 million. For seven months revenues are under collected by $3.6 million.
Tobacco tax collections were $2.2 million under the budgeted estimate of $22.1 million. For seven months revenues are under collected in the amount of $11.0 million.
Inheritance and estate taxes were under collected by $4.5 million for the month. Year to date collections for seven months are $4.0 million more than the budgeted estimate.
Privilege tax collections were $2.4 million more than the February estimate, but on a year to date basis, August through February, collections are $1.9 million below the estimate.
All other taxes were over collected by a net of $2.7 million.
Year-to-date collections for seven months were $251.5 million more than the budgeted estimate. The general fund was over collected by $237.8 million and the four other funds were over collected by $13.7 million.
The budgeted revenue estimates for 2011-2012 are based on the State Funding Board’s consensus recommendation of April 15, 2011 and adopted by the first session of the 107th General Assembly in May. They are available on the state’s website at http://www.tn.gov/finance/bud/budget.shtml.
The State Funding Board met on December 9th and 14th to hear updated revenue projections from the state’s various economists. The board met again on December 19th and adopted revised revenue ranges for 2011-2012. The revised ranges assume an over collection of $187.8 million to $220.5 million in total taxes and $177.0 million to $209.6 million in general fund taxes from the fiscal year 2011-2012 budgeted estimate.