State revenue: A bit below budget in February; year-to-date take shows $181M surplus

Press release from Department of Finance and Administration

NASHVILLE, Tenn. –  Tennessee Department of Finance and Administration Commissioner Larry Martin announced today that Tennessee tax revenue fell short of budgeted estimates in February. Overall February revenues were $884.9 million, which is $38.2 million more than we received in February one year ago, but were $3.4 million less than the state budgeted. The overall growth rate for February was 4.51 percent.

“The state experienced growth in sales tax revenues compared to last February and receipts exceeded the budgeted estimate. However, franchise and excise revenues recorded negative growth for the month and were less than the estimate. All other revenues combined revealed healthy growth for the month, but were slightly less than our budgeted estimate,” Martin said.

“On a year-to-date basis, the total reported revenue growth is 3.88 percent and includes several one-time events. Removing those events, one-time franchise and excise receipts and pre-payments made for 2017 Hall income taxes, the underlying growth is 4.93 percent. Corporate tax revenues show a negative growth of 7.57 percent for the year, but after adjusting for the 2017 and 2018 one-time payments included in the receipts, the growth rate is a positive 3.72 percent. All other combined revenues, on a year-to-date basis, reflect a positive 13.21 percent, but after adjusting for the accelerated payments made in the Hall income tax the growth rate is 9.05 percent.

“While we are satisfied with the overall growth in total revenues on a year-to-date basis, we realize that typically more than one half of our annual corporate revenues materialize in the months of April through June. We will remain cautiously optimistic in anticipation of revenues in the months ahead.”

On an accrual basis, February is the seventh month in the 2017-2018 fiscal year.

General fund revenues were less than the budgeted estimates in the amount of $1.2 million while the four other funds that share in state tax revenues were $2.2 million less than the estimates.

Sales tax revenues were $13.0 million more than the estimate for February and were 5.07 percent more than February 2017. For seven months, revenues are $52.6 million higher than estimated. The year-to-date growth rate for seven months was 4.01 percent.

Franchise and excise tax revenues combined were $14.5 million less than the budgeted estimate in February, and the growth rate compared to  February 2017 was negative 18.43 percent. For seven months, revenues are $45.0 million more than the estimate and the year-to-date growth rate is negative 7.57 percent. However, adjusting for the one-time payments received last fiscal year and the one received in this fiscal year reduces the year-to-date underlying growth rate to 3.72 percent.

Gasoline and motor fuel revenues for February increased by 19.08 percent compared to February 2017 and were $6.4 million less than the budgeted estimate of $85.9 million.  For seven months revenues have exceeded estimates by $6.7 million.

Motor vehicle registration revenues were $2.1 million  more than the February estimate, and on a year-to-date basis they are $10.8 million  more than estimates.

Tobacco taxes were $2.3 million less than the February budgeted estimate of $20.8 million. For seven months, they are $4.8 million less than the budgeted estimate.

Inheritance and estate taxes was $0.5 million less than the February estimate. On a year-to-date basis, revenues for seven months are $2.4 million less than the budgeted estimate.

Privilege taxes were $2.8 million more than the February estimate, and on a year-to-date basis, August through February, revenues are $9.7 million more than the estimate.

Business taxes were $1.1 million less than the February estimate. For seven months, revenues are $0.9 million more than the budgeted estimate.

Hall income tax revenues for the month were $1.9 million more than the budgeted estimate. Driven by the substantial pre-payment of 2017 taxes, revenues on a year-to-date basis are $63.5 million in excess of the estimate.

All other tax receipts exceeded  estimates by a net of $1.6 million.

Year-to-date revenues for seven months were $181.7 million more than the budgeted estimate. The general fund recorded $135.0 million in excess of the budgeted estimates and the four other funds $46.7 million.

The budgeted revenue estimates for 2017-2018 are based on the State Funding Board’s consensus recommendation of November 29, 2016 and adopted by the first session of the 110th General Assembly in May 2017. Also incorporated in the estimates are any changes in revenue enacted during the 2017 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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