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State Reports 24th Consecutive Month of Positive Revenue Growth

Press release from the State of Tennessee; April 12, 2012:

NASHVILLE – Tennessee revenue collections continued to exceed budgeted expectations in March. Finance and Administration Commissioner Mark Emkes said today that overall March revenues were $916.1 million, which is $78.6 million more than the state budgeted.

“March sales tax collections, representing February spending, recorded the 24th consecutive month of positive growth,” Emkes said. “We believe this to be a clear indication of continued consumer optimism, and represents an upswing in the state’s economy.

“Year-to-date corporate tax collections are very encouraging. However, this item needs to be carefully followed because about one-fourth of all collections typically occur in the month of April and these numbers have been extremely volatile in the recent past.

“In addition, we need to monitor a number of national and global issues, including resolution of the federal budget and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, escalating gas prices and potential for rising inflation as well as the European financial crises and turbulence in the Middle East. We’ll need to be extremely diligent for the remainder of this year in order to keep the budget in balance and financially posture ourselves for the future.”

On an accrual basis, March is the eighth month in the 2011-2012 fiscal year.

The general fund was over collected by $79.2 million and the four other funds were under collected by $600,000.

Sales tax collections were $34.6 million more than the estimate for March. The March growth rate was positive 7.58%. For eight months revenues are over collected by $140.5 million. The year-to-date growth rate for eight months was positive 7.06%.

Franchise and excise taxes combined were $50.2 million above the budgeted estimate of $141.8 million. For eight months revenues are over collected by $198.6 million. The year-to-date growth rate for eight months was positive 26.65%.

Gasoline and motor fuel collections for March increased by 5.30% but were $157,000 below the budgeted estimate. For eight months revenues are under collected by $3.7 million.

Tobacco taxes collections were $1.0 million under the budgeted estimate of $25.1 million. For eight months revenues are under collected in the amount of $12.0 million.

Inheritance and estate taxes were under collected by $4.2 million for the month. Year to date collections for eight months are $284,000 less than the budgeted estimate.

Privilege tax collections were $1.4 million more than the March estimate, but on a year to date basis, August through March, collections are $470,000 below the estimate.

All other taxes were under collected by a net of $2.2 million.

Year-to-date collections for eight months were $330.1 million more than the budgeted estimate. The general fund was over collected by $316.9 million and the four other funds were over collected by $13.2 million. The FY 2012 budget assumed an overcollection of $209.6 million in General Fund taxes. Therefore, the amount overcollected above and beyond what’s already in the budget is $107.3 million ($316.9 million minus $209.6 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.

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