Tennessee Collected $4.6 Billion More than Budgeted in Taxes and Fees for Fiscal Year

by Jon Styf


Tennessee collected $4.6 billion more than budgeted in taxes and fees for the fiscal year that ended in July on an accrual basis.

The number was $4.3 billion after June.

Knowing that the state was ahead of its budget, the budgeted amount was adjusted by $2.94 billion with the budget that Gov. Bill Lee signed on June 1, but collections still far exceeded that number.

“Underestimating revenues creates unplanned surpluses which can be spent the following year or saved in the rainy day fund,” the Sycamore Institute explains in its monthly tax revenue tracker. “The tradeoff of a surplus is that policymakers may have preferred to either spend the money or reduce taxes in the current year.”

The largest factor in the overage is sales tax collection, which finished the fiscal year $2.5 billion more than estimated and was $244.7 million more than estimated in July.

Overall, Tennessee collected $1.6 billion in July, which is $303.6 million more than estimated. Sales tax collections were up 11.4% from July 2021.

“Total tax revenue for the month of July reflects unusual growth compared to this time last year,” Tennessee Department of Finance and Administration Commissioner Jim Bryson said. “Sales and use tax receipts, reflecting June taxable sales activity, outperformed expectations and were the largest contributor to our monthly year-over-year comparison.

“State corporate tax revenues, or franchise and excise taxes, together with realty transfer and realty mortgage tax collections, included in our privilege tax revenues, also greatly exceeded estimates. All other revenues combined posted moderate gains compared to July revenues one year ago.”

The second-largest category with overages were franchise and excise taxes, which were $1.7 billion above estimates for the year and $26.2 million above estimates for July. Those collections grew 31.8% from the year before.

As the state prepares for next fiscal year, Bryson said that “future growth remains a concern” in estimates.

“It should be noted that total annual tax growth at 16.95 percent was the highest since fiscal year 1992-1993, when growth was near 19 percent after several subsequent tax increases,” Bryson said. “Measured against last year’s collections, total state tax revenues grew by just over $3 billion.

“Furthermore, when comparing our total tax revenue collections against our revised revenue estimate total growth was $1.7 billion and general fund revenues outperformed the revised budget by $1.5 billion.”

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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.


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7 Thoughts to “Tennessee Collected $4.6 Billion More than Budgeted in Taxes and Fees for Fiscal Year”

  1. John Doeman

    Give the teachers a raise and the governor a pink slip.

  2. TDT

    I’m sure the state politicians will find some ridiculous project to spend the excess on. How about reducing the state sales tax (7%) to 5% or 6% and cap local sales tax (city, county) at 2% maximum. Reverse the latest gasoline tax, tax groceries at 4%. Maybe a state-wide reduction in property taxes also. (I know my suggestions are a pipe dream, but one can “hope”).

  3. Cannoneer2

    That will add up to some big raises for Commissioners and Governor’s staff.

    1. 83ragtop50

      You got that right!

  4. Lisa Byrd

    Yes they could cut the taxes on Groceries, Gas, and the diesel. Our tax on stuff is crazy. Tax on non Groceries needs to be cut as well.

  5. Karen

    I’m sure we can all expect a check in the mail, right? /s I feel like the state shouldn’t really be bragging about how much *extra* taxes they have collected. With each of our own economies being so short of what’s needed, they really shouldn’t be bragging about how much *they* have due to our being taxed to death! It’s just plain arrogance!

  6. 83ragtop50

    Where is my tax cut?!!!!! I am sure that the governor and legislature will find way stop spend more rather than cut taxes. How about just getting rid of the gasoline and diesel taxes added under the IMPROVE tax bill that was promoted with a bunch of lies? And maybe cut the sales tax in groceries by 50%. Both of those would help virtually all citizens.