Lee Cabinet

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee (right) and Department of Finance and Administration Commissioner Butch Eley

(The Center Square) – Tennessee collected $437.2 million more than budgeted in taxes and fees in December.

The state has collected $1.626 billion more than budgeted this fiscal year, which ends June 30, after collecting $3.1 billion more than budgeted last fiscal year. The state has experienced a 21.8% increase in taxes and fees collected through five months compared with last fiscal year.

“December tax revenues exceeded budget estimates due to strong sales tax growth, corporate tax growth and realty tax collections included within privilege taxes,” said Butch Eley, commissioner for the Tennessee Department of Finance and Administration. “… It is estimated that some portion of retail purchasing may have shifted from December to November due to reports of supply chain disruptions. Next month’s January revenue report will fully capture consumer spending for the 2021 holiday season. While revenue collections continue to look promising, we will persist in closely monitoring our revenues and expenditures throughout the remainder of this fiscal year.”

Fiscal Review Committee Chief Economist Joe Wegenka estimated last week the state would collect $3.18 billion more than budgeted this fiscal year during a presentation to the Senate Finance, Ways and Means Committee.

The largest area where the December numbers exceeded budgeted estimates was in general fund revenues, which were $411.3 million over estimates.

Sales tax collections were $214 million more than estimated in December and $923.6 million higher than estimated for the fiscal year.

Franchise and excise taxes were $188 million more than estimated for December. Franchise and excise tax collection this fiscal year is up $589.4 million year over year, a 42% increase. 

Privilege tax collections were $17.4 million more than estimated, gas and fuel taxes were $7.6 million more than estimated, liquor-by-the-drink taxes were $5 million more than estimated and motor vehicle registration was $2.7 million more than budgeted for December.

Staff Reporter

Jon Styf is an award-winning editor and reporter who has worked in Illinois, Texas, Wisconsin, Florida and Michigan in local newsrooms over the past 20 years, working for Shaw Media, Hearst and several other companies.