Revenues exceed estimates for third consecutive month

NASHVILLE– Tennessee Department of Finance and Administration Commissioner Stuart McWhorter today announced that Tennessee tax revenues exceeded budgeted estimates in October. Overall October revenues were $1.1 billion, which is $82.3 million more than October of last year and $49.8 million more than the budgeted estimate. The growth rate for October was 7.88%. This is the third consecutive month that revenues have exceeded budget estimates. 

“Growth over October revenue estimates were mainly supported by strong sales tax receipts and a large one-time motor fuel tax payment in the month,” McWhorter said. “Franchise and excise tax revenue fell short of estimates, due in part to a growth in corporate tax refunds over the prior year as corporate tax filers that requested an April extension balanced their estimated payment to their tax liabilities.

“Moving forward we will continue to proceed cautiously and closely monitor our revenue and expenditure patterns for the balance of this fiscal year.”

On an accrual basis, October is the third month in the 2019-2020 fiscal year.

General fund revenues for October were $18.1 million more than the budgeted estimate, and the four other funds that share in state tax revenues were $31.7 million more than the budgeted estimates.

Sales tax revenues were $26.6 million more than the estimate for October. The October growth rate was 5.93% and the year-to-date growth rate is 6.31%.

Franchise and excise combined revenues for October were $43.7 million, which is $14 million less than the budgeted estimate of $57.7 million. The growth rate for October was negative 26.46%. However, the year-to-date growth rate is 17.06%.

Gasoline and motor fuel revenues increased by 31.30% and were $25.4 million more than the budgeted estimate of $104.7 million.  Approximately $23.3 million of the receipts came from a one-time motor fuel tax payment concerning a still pending diesel fuel lawsuit.

Motor vehicle registration revenue receipts increased by 17.11% and they were $0.9 million more than the October estimate.

Tobacco tax revenues for the month were $1.5 million less than the budgeted estimate of $20.6 million. The growth rate for October was 3.11%.

Privilege tax revenues were $5.4 million more than the budgeted estimate of $30.8 million.

Business tax revenues were $0.7 million more than the budgeted estimate.

Income taxes were $3.2 million more than the October estimate.

All other tax revenues were greater than estimates by a net of $3.1 million.

Year-to-date revenues for three months are $217.4 million more than the budgeted estimate. The general fund has exceeded estimates by $172.2 million and the four other funds that share in state tax revenues exceeded estimates by $45.2 million.

The budgeted revenue estimates for 2019-2020 are based on the State Funding Board’s consensus recommendation of Nov. 26, 2018 and adopted by the first session of the 111thGeneral Assembly in April 2019. Also incorporated in the estimates are any changes in revenue enacted during the 2019 session of the General Assembly. These estimates are available on the state’s website at https://www.tn.gov/content/tn/finance/fa/fa-budget-information/fa-budget-rev.html.

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Michelle Price is the managing editor of the Upper Cumberland Business Journal and can be reached via email. Send an email.

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