December State Revenues Were Less Than Expected

Friday, January 10, 2014

Tennessee revenue collections for December fell below collections for the same month the year before. Finance and Administration Commissioner Larry Martin reported Friday that state revenue collections for December were $966.6 million, which is 1.59 percent below December 2012.  December sales tax collections represent consumer spending that occurred in November.  

“Total revenue for December was lower than expected, primarily due to under collections in sales and corporate taxes, even though December revenues include ‘Black Friday’ and after-Thanksgiving sales,” Commissioner Martin said.  “We believe having six less days of shopping after Thanksgiving 2013 compared to the previous year accounts for the under collection, but January’s report will give us a more complete picture of Christmas retail activity.

“Because of an anticipated revenue shortfall this year, we will closely monitor our collections and spending for the remainder of the current fiscal year, and work closely with the Legislature in the adoption of a balanced and responsible budget for the 2014-15 fiscal year.” 

December collections were $47.9 million less than the budgeted estimate. The general fund was under collected by $57.2 million and the four other funds were over collected by $9.3 million.

Sales tax collections were $3.0 million less than the estimate for December.  The December growth rate was 2.53 percent. For five months revenues are under collected by $24.3 million, and the year-to-date growth rate is 3.33 percent.

Franchise and excise taxes combined were $54.5 below the budgeted estimate of $254.0 million. For five months revenues are under collected by $158.3 million. 

Gasoline and motor fuel collections for December increased by 18.55 percent and they were $10.7 million above the budgeted estimate of $63.7 million.  For five months revenues are over collected by $4.3 million.

Tobacco tax collections were $0.9 million below the budgeted estimate of $22.8 million, and for five months they are $5.4 million below the budgeted estimate. 

Privilege tax collections were $2.8 million less than the budgeted estimate of $20.6 million. Year-to-date collections for five months are $1.4 million below the budgeted estimate.

Inheritance and estate taxes were over collected by $3.7 million for the month. For five months collections are $15.0 million above the budgeted estimate. 

All other taxes were under collected by a net of $1.1 million.

Year-to-date collections for five months were $171.1 million less than the budgeted estimate. The general fund was under collected by $175.8 million and the four other funds were over collected by $4.7 million.

The budgeted revenue estimates for 2013-2014 are based on the State Funding Board’s consensus recommendation of December 19, 2012 and adopted by the first session of the 108th General Assembly in April 2013. They are available on the state’s website at

The Funding Board met on Dec. 10, 2013 to hear updated revenue projections from the state’s various economists, and on Dec. 17 adopted revised revenue ranges for 2013-2014. The revised ranges assume an under collection from the July 2013 budgeted estimate in the amount of $111.2 million to $134.5 million in total taxes and in the amount of $126.1 million to $145.6 million in general fund taxes for the current fiscal year.

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