State coffers bursting at the seams

Published 4:15 pm Thursday, July 21, 2022

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The Center Square

Tennessee has now collected $4.3 billion more in taxes and fees than budgeted through 11 months of the fiscal year.

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The state announced on Friday that it collected $2.2 billion in taxes and fees in June, which amounted to $547.9 million more than budgeted and $364.3 million more than was collected in June 2021.

“After experiencing slower year-over-year growth in the month of May, growth has rebounded to the levels seen during most of fiscal year 2021-2022, driven primarily by sales and corporate tax receipts,” said Tennessee Department of Finance and Administration Commissioner Jim Bryson. “Of the $547.9 million in revenue above estimates, 48 percent is attributed to growth in sales tax collections while 43 percent is due to the growth in franchise and excise taxes. The June figures also capture $20 million in professional privilege tax payments that had been shifted from May.”

Tennessee has now collected $2.3 billion more than budgeted in sales tax for the fiscal year after beating estimates by $264.4 million in June.

The state’s final budget, signed by Gov. Bill Lee on June 1, included an additional $2.936 billion in spending than the original budget estimates, meaning this fiscal year has nearly $1.4 billion in overage with one month remaining.

“With one month of revenue reporting remaining in the 2021-2022 fiscal year, the state is on track to outperform the revenue estimates set for the year,” Bryson said. “Nevertheless, we remain steadfast in our commitment to closely watch economic conditions, especially as inflation remains high, eroding much of the gain in overall revenues.”

Vehicle registration fees were $2.9 million more than estimated in June heading into a one-year moratorium on those fees for personal vehicles, motorcycles and autocycles.

June privilege taxes were $27.6 million more than estimated while franchise and excise taxes were $239.5 million more than estimated.