NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee revenue collections fell short of budgeted expectations in March. Finance and Administration Commissioner Larry Martin reported today that overall March revenues were $943.7 million, which is $15.6 million less than the state budgeted. Total tax collections in March were 1.26% below the previous year.
“March collections reflect weaker than anticipated revenues from the sales tax category due to the severe ice storms which occurred in February,” Martin said. “We believe this is an isolated occurrence and that consumer spending will reflect somewhat normal growth next month. Franchise and Excise collections were above budgeted estimates for March and, taken as a group, all other tax collections exceeded budgeted estimates for the month as well.”
On an accrual basis, March is the eighth month in the 2014-2015 fiscal year.
The general fund was under collected by $16.0 million and the four other funds were over collected by $0.4 million.
Sales tax collections were $32.5 million less than the estimate for March. The March growth rate was negative 3.17%. For eight months revenues are over collected by $117.8 million. The year-to-date growth rate for eight months was positive 5.67%.
Franchise and excise taxes combined were $6.9 million above the budgeted estimate of $189.4 million. For eight months revenues are over collected by $172.2 million. The year-to-date growth rate for eight months was positive 24.45%.
Gasoline and motor fuel collections for March decreased by 4.96% and were $3.2 million above the budgeted estimate. For eight months revenues are over collected by $17.7 million.
Tobacco taxes collections were $0.3 million under the budgeted estimate of $21.4 million. For eight months revenues are under collected in the amount of $6.2 million.
Inheritance and estate taxes were over collected by $3.2 million for the month. Year-to-date collections for eight months are $15.2 million more than the budgeted estimate.
Privilege tax collections were $2.3 million less than the March estimate, and on a year-to-date basis, August through March, collections are $0.2 million above the estimate.
Business tax collections were $8.0 million above the March estimate.
All other taxes were under collected by a net of 1.8 million.
Year-to-date collections for eight months were $354.2 million more than the budgeted estimate.
The general fund was over collected by $320.5 million and the four other funds were over collected by $33.7 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.
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.