Tennessee Revenue Collection Nearly $1 Billion Over Estimates

Advocate Andy

Revenue collection continues to exceed budgeted projections as lawmakers return to session

As the Tennessee General Assembly returned to session last week, the Department of Finance and Administration released fiscal year-to-date revenue data indicating the state has already collected nearly $1 billion more than forecasted. The state, then, is on track to collect around $2 billion more than budgeted estimates.

The news comes as policymakers prepare to make decisions on Gov. Bill Lee's proposed budget and on funding key policy priorities.

The Department of Finance and Administration notes that collections for December were more than $200 million above what was budgeted.

Commissioner of Finance and Administration Jim Bryson noted that December collections actually represent a slowing of the growth seen so far this year.

“It is fully expected that revenue growth will continue to moderate over the foreseeable future, however we must be cognizant that one month does not make a trend," Bryson said. "As such, we will continue to closely monitor our revenues and expenditures throughout the remainder of this fiscal year.”

The largest portion of excess revenue came in the way of sales taxes. The Department notes:

"Sales tax revenues were $118.8 million more than the estimate for December. The December growth rate was 5.64 percent. For the first five months of this fiscal year, revenues are $598.5 million higher than estimated, and the year-to-date growth rate is 9.53 percent."

The Department offered this explanation for the current revenue situation:

"Year-to-date revenues for five months were $959.9 million more than the budgeted estimate. The general fund recorded $882.8 million in revenues more than estimates, and the four other funds recorded $77.1 million more than estimates.  Year-to-date growth for the first five months is 8.20 percent."

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Andy Spears is a middle Tennessee writer and policy advocate. He reports on news around public policy issues - education, health care, consumer protection, and more.

Nashville, TN

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