NASHVILLE, Tenn.– Tennessee revenue collections for December exceeded the same month one year ago, driven primarily by sales tax collections. Finance and Administration Commissioner Larry Martin reported today that state revenue collections for December were $1.0 billion, which is 5.25% above December 2013. December sales tax collections represent consumer spending that occurred in November, which last year included one week of Christmas shopping after Black Friday before December 1.
“Total revenues reported during December were higher than expected due to over collections in the sales and corporate tax categories,” Martin said. “The December sales tax growth rate may have been influenced by lower gasoline prices, renewed consumer confidence, and the additional shopping time. January’s report will give us a clearer picture with Christmas retail activity included.”
On an accrual basis, December is the fifth month in the 2014-2015 fiscal year.
December collections were $28.9 million more than the budgeted estimate. The general fund was over collected by $21.8 million and the four other funds were over collected by $7.1 million.
Sales tax collections were $21.4 million more than the estimate for December. The December growth rate was 5.87%. For five months revenues are over collected by $98.2 million, and the year-to-date growth rate is 6.49%.
Franchise and excise taxes combined were $6.4 million more than the budgeted estimate of $212.9 million. For five months revenues are under collected by $13.4 million.
Gasoline and motor fuel collections for December decreased by 0.27%, but were $8.1 million more than the budgeted estimate of $66.1 million. For five months revenues are over collected by $8.3 million.
Tobacco tax collections were $1.7 million less than the budgeted estimate of $22.8 million, and for five months they are $5.3 million less than the budgeted estimate.
Privilege tax collections were $2.3 million less than the budgeted estimate of $21.3 million. Year-to-date collections for five months are $6.9 million more than the budgeted estimate.
Inheritance and estate taxes were under collected by $0.7 million for the month. For five months collections are $9.3 million more than the budgeted estimate.
Business tax collections were $0.1 million less than the December estimate.
All other taxes were under collected by a net of $2.2 million.
Year-to-date collections for five months were $124.4 million more than the budgeted estimate. The general fund was over collected by $109.3 million and the four other funds were over collected by $15.1 million.
The budgeted revenue estimates for 2014-2015 are based on the State Funding Board’s consensus recommendation of December 17th, 2013 and adopted by the second session of the 108th General Assembly in April 2014. They are available on the state’s website at http://www.tn.gov/finance/bud/Revenues.shtml.
The Funding Board met on December 11, 2014 to hear updated revenue projections from the state’s various economists. The board met again on December 16 and adopted revised revenue ranges for 2014-2015. The revised ranges assume an over collection from the July 2014 budgeted estimate in the amount of $32.3 million to $73.4 million in total taxes. The revised ranges for the general fund recognize a negative growth in the amount of $6.6 million up to a positive growth of $27.5 million for the current fiscal year.