Tennessee tax revenue exceeded the state’s budget estimate by $129.5 million in November, continuing a four-month streak of positive revenue after declines in April, May and June.
The Tennessee Department of Finance and Administration said overall state revenue in November was $1.1 billion – nearly 2% more than a year ago. In the first four months of the fiscal year, tax revenue collections exceeded budgeted estimates by $576 million.
“The good news is that we are in a positive position relative to the state’s budget and we intend to keep our spending in line with revenue collections while continuing to maintain citizen services,” Finance and Administration Commissioner Butch Eley said in a statement Monday. “We will continue to plan for the worst and hope for the best.”
Sales tax revenue grew at a rate of 7% in November, boosted by the first collection of state sales tax on online purchases.
Gov. Bill Lee signed legislation earlier his year allowing the state to collect sales tax on online purchases – a tax that already was levied by law but had not previously been collected. The state started collecting sales tax Oct. 1 on online purchases through marketplace facilitators such as Etsy and Amazon that make more than $100,000 in sales to Tennessee customers.
November collections included the first revenue from the now-collected tax, accounting for about 3% of sales tax growth, according to the department.
Revenue from the Hall income tax on interest and dividends in November came in $600,000 less than the budgeted estimate. The Hall income tax is set to be eliminated completely at the end of the year.
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