NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee sales tax collections were up 5.2 percent in November, and the state’s general fund revenues have exceeded expectations by $69 million since the beginning of the budget year.
Finance Commissioner Mark Emkes stressed Friday that the sales tax collections reflect economic activity in October, meaning the state will have to wait to see the results of the post-Thanksgiving sales until next month.
Emkes announced the most recent revenue figures at a meeting of the State Funding Board. The panel also heard from economists about their projections for the state economy in the next budget year beginning in July.
Republican Gov. Bill Haslam has said he expects to have to fill a funding gap of about $300 million in the upcoming spending year.
Note: THe F&A news release is below.
News release from Department of Finance and Administration:
NASHVILLE – Tennessee revenue collections for November were $765.6 million, which is 4.58% above November 2010. November collections represent consumer spending that occurred during October.
“The overall growth rate in our November tax collections – particularly the sales and corporate taxes – leads us to believe that growth during fiscal year 2012 will be moderate,” Finance and Administration Commissioner Mark Emkes said. “Typically, about one-fourth of all franchise and excise collections come in during April, and coupled with national economic indicators, it means we must remain vigilant in monitoring our spending patterns.
“It’s important to remember we won’t see how ‘Black Friday’ and after-Thanksgiving retail sales performed until this time next month, when we’ve collected revenues for November spending.”
On an accrual basis, November is the fourth month in the 2011-2012 fiscal year.
November collections were $11.0 million more than the budgeted estimate. The general fund was over collected by $12.6 million and the four other funds were under collected by $1.6 million.
Sales tax collections were $9.4 million more than the estimate for November. The November growth rate was positive 5.19%. Year-to-date the growth rate for four months is positive 6.18%.
Franchise and excise combined collections for November were $40.7 million, which is $2.7 million above the budgeted estimate of $38.0 million. Year-to date the growth rate for four months is positive 10.47%.
Gasoline and motor fuel collections were $3.4 million less than the budgeted estimate of $73.8 million. For four months year-to-date collections are $6.2 million below the budgeted estimate.
Tobacco tax collections for the month were under collected by $900,000. Privilege tax collections were $400,000 less than the budgeted estimate of $16.6 million. Inheritance and Estate taxes were over collected by $100,000 for the month. All other taxes were over collected by a net of $3.5 million.
Year-to date collections for four months were $71.0 million more than the budgeted estimate. The general fund was over collected by $69.5 million and the four other funds were over collected by $1.5 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.html.