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TN Has Raised Nearly $125M More in Taxes Than Projected for Current Fiscal Year

Press release from the Tennessee Department of Finance & Administration; January 9, 2015:

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.

COLLECTIONS TABLES

TN Tax Holiday: August 1-3

Press release from the Tennessee Department of Revenue; July 15, 2014:

The Department of Revenue reminds Tennesseans they can buy certain items without paying sales tax August 1 through August 3.

During these three days, Tennessee shoppers can save nearly 10 percent on clothing, school supplies and computers.

“This holiday offers Tennesseans great savings on important back-to-school items, and I encourage everyone to take advantage of this opportunity,” Gov. Bill Haslam said.

The sales tax holiday begins Friday, August 1 at 12:01 a.m. and ends Sunday, August 3 at 11:59 p.m. During this weekend, consumers will not pay state or local sales tax on clothing, school and art supplies that cost less than $100 per item and computers that cost $1,500 or less.

“We hope Tennessee shoppers will take advantage of the tax relief offered by this year’s sales tax holiday,” Revenue Commissioner Richard Roberts said.

Examples of items that can be bought tax-free during the holiday include:

Clothing: Shirts, dresses, pants, coats, gloves and mittens, hats and caps, hosiery, neckties, belts, sneakers, shoes, uniforms and scarves.

School Supplies: Binders, book bags, calculators, tape, chalk, crayons, erasers, folders, glue, pens, pencils, lunch boxes, notebooks, paper, rulers and scissors.

Art Supplies: Clay and glazes; acrylic, tempera and oil paints; paintbrushes for artwork; sketch and drawing pads; and watercolors.

Computers: Central processing unit (CPU), along with various other components including monitor, keyboard, mouse, cables to connect components and preloaded software. (Note: While the CPU may be purchased separately, other items must be part of a bundled computer package in order to be eligible.) iPads and other tablet computers are eligible for tax exemption, but smart phones and video game consoles are not.

For more information, please visit www.tntaxholiday.com. You can also email the Department of Revenue at salestax.holiday@tn.gov or call (800) 342-1003. Staff is available to answer questions Monday through Friday 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Central Time. (Out-of-state and Nashville-area callers, please dial (615) 253-0600.)

Knoxville-Area Democrat Files for U.S. Senate Race

Press release from the Campaign for Terry Adams for U.S. Senate; October 28, 2013:

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Terry Adams, a Navy veteran, entrepreneur and attorney, announced today that he has filed to run as a Democrat for the U.S. Senate in 2014.

“After getting strong encouragement from a wide range of people around Tennessee, I have decided to enter this race,” Adams said. “We think the time is right for someone with a unique profile to run and win this seat and to serve Tennessee.”

Adams continued, “Washington is broken and we are not going to fix it by sending back the same people responsible for breaking it in the first place.”

Adams noted that if we had more small business owners and military veterans in Washington that common sense might prevail over out-of-control gridlock and brinksmanship.

“We have fewer veterans serving than in recent memory and I think that’s one of the reasons Washington is so painfully partisan and amazingly ineffective.”

With Republicans Lamar Alexander and Joe Carr battling for the nomination, Adams also noted that the Tea Party candidate had defeated an establishment Republican in at least eight recent Republican primaries for U.S. Senate: in Utah (Senator Lee), Colorado, Delaware, Missouri, Indiana, Kentucky (Senator Paul), Nevada, and Texas (Senator Cruz). Five out of the eight candidates then lost general elections.

Adams has roots in East, West and Middle Tennessee. He and his wife Phillis have two businesses in the Knoxville area where they live. Adams was raised in Nashville and went to college at UT Knoxville and the University of Memphis.

Nashville attorney, former Tennessee Democratic Party Chairman, and former U.S. Senate Democratic Party nominee, Bob Tuke is the Treasurer of Adams’ campaign.

A formal campaign kickoff and statewide tour is being scheduled.

Click here to read Adams’ short biography online.

Sara Kyle Continues Testing Political Waters of a 2014 Gubernatorial Bid

Press release from the Run, Sara, Run PAC; September 12, 2013:

MEMPHIS, TN — Following an electrifying appearance at the Tennessee Democratic Party’s Jackson Day celebration, where thousands of supporters urged her to “Run, Sara, Run,” former Tennessee Regulatory Authority Director Sara Kyle continues to test the viability of a run for Governor in 2014.

“She is doing at this point what Governor Haslam has failed to do for his entire first term — taking time to sit and listen to real Tennesseans,” said Chattanooga City Councilman Chris Anderson. “What she’s hearing is that people are worried about the future. Families across the state are telling her that this Governor has no clue what kind of challenges they’re facing.”

Last week, an inquiry from the Tennessean newspaper revealed that the Governor owned shares in “K12 Inc.,” a for-profit virtual school company that Haslam authorized to operate in the state in 2011. The company was heavily criticized for its poor academic offerings and, according to the Tennessean, “has ranked among the worst in the state in each of its two years of existence.”

This follows similar allegations that Haslam held personal investments in Jones Lang Lasalle, a real estate consultancy that secured a $330 million contract with the State of Tennessee’s Department of General Services.

Tennessee’s unemployment rate is still higher than the national average,” says former Shelby County Commission Chair Deidre Malone. “Under this Governor, our families are missing out on the national economic recovery. He is failing in his promise that we would become the number one location for high-quality jobs, because he has a major disconnect with what middle class families need to succeed in this economy. His politically-motivated rejection of Medicaid funds leaves thousands of Tennesseans more vulnerable than ever.”

“We’re rapidly becoming not just three Grand Divisions, but truly two totally different states — one for the wealthy and well-connected, and another one for the rest of us. It doesn’t have to be this way, but Tennessee is going to need a much stronger leader if we’re going to change course.”

“I’ve known Sara for a long time,” says Tennessee Democratic Party Vice-Chair Elisa Parker. “She was raised to believe that all people have worth, regardless of their wealth. She would bring a set of values and understanding about the challenges middle class families face that we desperately need right now. We need a Governor who will work to invest in Tennessee’s people — not his mutual funds. We need Sara to run because we know she can win.”

Run Sara Run PAC officials have also confirmed that Sara will attend the Hamilton County Democratic Party’s annual Estes Kefauver Dinner. Details are available at http://hcdp.us.