State Revenue Collections Again Below Projected Levels; Governor’s Budget Hearings Ahead

The past three months of revenue collections in Tennessee have fallen below budgeted estimates.  The most recent figures show that for the month of October, collections were $17.8 million less than budgeted levels.  This follows an even larger under collection for the month of September, where revenues were $59.0 million less than estimated. Similarly, collections in August were $24.3 million less than estimated.

On an accrual basis, October is the third month in the 2013-2014 fiscal year. The figures combined yield year-to-date collections that are $101.2 million below budgeted estimates.

“We are very disappointed with the negative growth rates reported in corporate tax collections for October and the preceding two months,” Finance and Administration Commissioner Larry Martin said in the press release announcing the October figures.  “However, the sales tax is our best economic indicator, and it reflects modest growth for the month and first quarter of 2013-2014.

“The national and state leading economic indicators continue to indicate a very slow recovery is in progress, and it calls on us to continue to be diligent in monitoring our spending and revenue patterns for the remainder of this year. We are committed to keeping Tennessee’s budget balanced.”

In other budgetary news, this week marks the beginning of Governor Haslam’s budget hearings for fiscal year 2014-2015.  The hearing for higher education will be held on Friday, November 15 from 1:00-2:00 pm CST.  Proceedings can be viewed live online at www.tn.gov.