general fund

Tennessee revenue collections obliterate estimates by $600M in April

The state Capitol on March 16, 2020. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

Tennessee’s general fund revenue collections were nearly $600 million above estimates in April, bringing the state’s surplus to $1.9 billion through the first nine months of the budget year.

Sales tax revenues beat projections by $285 million in April and were 32% higher than the same month last year. Collections reflect economic activity in the previous month.

Online sales tax collections represent 46.5% of all sales tax growth in the state since the beginning of the budget year.

Corporate franchise and excise taxes were $346 million more than expected in April, with a growth rate of 320% compared with last April.

Here’s the full release from the Department of Finance:

Tennessee Department of Finance and Administration Commissioner Butch Eley today announced that revenues for April exceeded the monthly revenues from the same month last year, which was at the beginning of the pandemic’s impact in Tennessee. Overall state revenues for April were $2.5 billion, which is $1.3 billion more than April 2020, and $596.7 million more than the budgeted estimates. The growth rate for all taxes in April was 90.90 percent.

“It’s important to remember that March and April of 2020 were the only two months where the state experienced a negative growth rate for collections during the pandemic, so in an effort to make realistic analysis, we’ve looked at collections for April 2019,” Eley said. “When we compare April of this year to 2020, the growth is 90.90 percent but compared to April 2019, the April growth rate for all taxes is 15.01 percent.

“Sales tax collections continue to reflect strong consumer activity and increased inflationary pressures that are beginning to appear in the cost of goods sold, as reflected in the latest CPI report. State corporate tax revenues greatly outperformed budgeted expectations as well, with many local companies experiencing a growth in earnings despite difficult circumstances. We should also keep in mind that April income tax receipts were lower than budgeted estimates due to a filing extension that moves the tax deadline into next month.

“Prior year month-to-month tax receipt comparisons for this month and the remainder of the year will appear distorted as periods of economic stoppage from the pandemic and the movement of multiple tax filing dates affect reported growth rates.”

On an accrual basis, April is the ninth month in the 2020-2021 fiscal year.

General fund revenues exceeded budgeted estimates by $599.9 million, while the four other funds that share in state tax revenues were $3.2 million less than the estimates.

Sales tax revenues were $284.9 million more than the estimate for April, 40.20 percent more than April 2020, and 31.78% more than April 2019. April sales tax revenues reflect retail business activity that occurred in March. For nine months, revenues are $1.2 billion higher than estimated. The year-to-date growth rate for nine months is 10.60 percent. Remote sales and marketplace facilitator laws contributed $54.9 million to sales tax receipts in the month of April. For nine months, online sales tax revenues represent 46.5 percent of all sales tax growth to the state.

Franchise and excise tax revenues combined were $346 million higher than the budgeted estimate in April, and the growth rate compared to April 2020 was positive 319.30 percent. For nine months, revenues are $765 million more than the estimate and the year-to-date growth rate is 47.22 percent.

Gasoline and motor fuel revenues for April decreased by 0.75 percent compared to April 2020 and they were $2.4 million less than the budgeted estimate of $104.7 million. For nine months revenues are less than estimated by $18.8 million.

Motor vehicle registration revenues were $4.7 million more than the April estimate, and on a year-to-date basis they are $13.6 million more than estimates.

Tobacco tax revenues were $1.5 million more than the April budgeted estimate of $17.5 million. For nine months, they are $9.5 million less than the budgeted estimate.

Hall income tax revenues for April were $58.5 million less than the budgeted estimate. A filing extension was granted for income taxes moving the filing date from April 15, 2021 to May 17, 2021.  (See: https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/revenue/documents/notices/general/gen2102.pdf)

Privilege tax revenues were $14.2 million more than the April estimate, and on a year-to-date basis, August through April, revenues are $72.4 million more than the estimate.

Business tax revenues were $7.9 million more than the April estimate. For nine months, revenues are $35 million more than the budgeted estimate.

Mixed drink, or liquor-by-the-drink, taxes were $1.2 million less than the April estimate, and on a year-to-date basis, revenues are $24.7 million less than the budgeted estimate.

All other taxes were less than budgeted estimates by a net of $0.4 million.

Year-to-date revenues, August through April, are $2 billion more than the budgeted estimate. The growth rate for eight months is 14.72 percent. General fund revenues are $1.9 billion more than the budgeted estimate and the four other funds are $66.2 million more than estimated.

The budgeted revenue estimates for 2020-2021 are based on the State Funding Board’s consensus recommendation of November 26, 2019 and adopted by the second session of the 111th General Assembly in June 2020. Also incorporated in the estimates are any changes in revenue enacted during the 2020 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.

General fund surplus hits $1.35B through first 8 months of budget year

The state Capitol on March 16, 2020. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

The state’s general fund surplus reached $1.35 billion in March, the eighth month of the budget year.

Sales taxes, which make up the vast majority of general fund revenues, were $40 million more than projected for the month and have accounted for $941 million of the surplus to date. Corporate franchise and excise taxes were $69 million more than expected in March, and $419 million over estimates for the year.

Here’s the full release from the state Finance Department:

Department of Finance and Administration Commissioner Butch Eley today announced that Tennessee tax revenues exceeded budgeted estimates in March. Overall March revenues totaled $1.26 billion, which is $57.1 million or 4.75 percent more than the state received in March of 2020 and $112.1 million more than the budgeted estimate for the month.

“Most of the growth in March can be attributed to sales and use taxes, corporate taxes and business taxes, which have been strong contributors to revenue growth for most of the year, “ Eley said. “March sales tax revenues, based on February sales tax activity, were positive across all industries except the restaurant and food services industry and apparel and accessories retailers. Additionally, sales tax receipts for the month were supported by approximately $39.7 million from remote sales and marketplace facilitator laws. To date, online sales tax revenues have accounted for about 65.4 percent of all sales tax growth to the state.

“We continue to be pleased with the overall growth in total taxes this fiscal year and we are encouraged at the prospect of future growth as Tennesseans become more comfortable resuming some activities. We are optimistic but cautious in anticipation of revenues in the months ahead.”

On an accrual basis, March is the eighth month in the 2020-2021 fiscal year.

General fund revenues were $115.2 million more than the budgeted estimate while the four other funds that share in state tax revenues were $3.1 million less than the estimates.

Sales tax revenues were $40.4 million more than the estimate for March and were 7.45 percent more than March 2020. For eight months revenues are $940.8 million more than estimated. The year-to-date growth rate for eight months was 7.15 percent.

Franchise and excise tax revenues combined were $69.1 million more than the budgeted estimate in March and the growth rate was 7.54 percent. For eight months, revenues are $419.1 million more than the estimate and the year-to-date growth rate is 4.85 percent.

Gasoline and motor fuel revenues for March decreased by 9.44 percent compared to March 2020 and were $6.3 million less than the budgeted estimate of $87 million. For eight months, fuel tax revenues are below estimate by $16.4 million.

Motor vehicle registration revenues were $2.2 million more than the March estimate, and on a year-to-date basis they are $9 million more than estimates.

Tobacco tax revenues were $1 million more than the March budgeted estimate of $18.6 million. For eight months, revenues are $8 million more than the year-to-date budgeted estimate.

Privilege tax revenues were $2.9 million more than the March estimate. On a year-to-date basis, August through March, revenues are $58.2 million more than the estimate.

Business tax revenues were $6.3 million more than the March estimate. For eight months, revenues are $27.1 million more than the budgeted estimate.

Hall income tax revenues for the month were $0.5 million more than the budgeted estimate. For eight months, revenues closely match the year-to-date budgeted estimate.

Mixed drink, or liquor-by-the-drink, taxes were $2.4 million less than the March estimate, and on a year-to-date basis, revenues are 23.5 million less than the budgeted estimate.

All other taxes were less than budgeted estimates by a net of $1.6 million.
Year-to-date revenues, August through March, are $1.42 billion more than the budgeted estimate. The growth rate for eight months is 4.97 percent. General fund revenues are $1.35 billion more than the budgeted estimate and the four other funds are $69.4 million more than estimated.

The budgeted revenue estimates for 2020-2021 are based on the State Funding Board’s consensus recommendation of November 26, 2019 and adopted by the second session of the 111th General Assembly in June 2020. Also incorporated in the estimates are any changes in revenue enacted during the 2020 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.