Tenn. Revenue Collections Up in March
Tennessee revenue collections continued to exceed budgeted expectations in March. Finance and Administration Commissioner Mark Emkes reported today that overall March revenues were $936.1 million, which is $33.1 million more than the state budgeted. Total tax collections in March were 2.2% above the previous year.
“March collections continued to reflect strong corporate profits from last year, but also reflect very modest retail activity for the month of February, when spending occurred,” Emkes said. “We believe the slowdown in retail spending reflects the two percent increase in the federal payroll tax in January and temporary erosion in consumer confidence, most likely brought about by the federal budget sequestration process.
“While year-to-date corporate tax collections remain very encouraging, we must remember that about a fourth of them typically – but not always - occur in the month of April. Due to the volatility of our corporate tax collections, we will be extremely diligent in monitoring our spending patterns for the remainder of this year, maintaining a balanced budget and financially posturing ourselves for the future.”
On an accrual basis, March is the eighth month in the 2012-2013 fiscal year.
The general fund was over collected by $35.4 million and the four other funds were under collected by $2.3 million.
Sales tax collections were $2.8 million less than the estimate for March. The March growth rate was positive 0.11%. For eight months revenues are under collected by $33.1 million. The year-to-date growth rate for eight months was positive 1.77%.
Franchise and excise taxes combined were $42.7 million above the budgeted estimate of $168.8 million. For eight months revenues are over collected by $156.5 million. The year-to-date growth rate for eight months was positive 9.12%.
Gasoline and motor fuel collections for March increased by 0.75% and were $0.2 million above the budgeted estimate. For eight months revenues are under collected by $15.2 million.
Tobacco taxes collections were $5.9 million under the budgeted estimate of $24.7 million. For eight months revenues are under collected in the amount of $10.7 million.
Inheritance and estate taxes were over collected by $2.2 million for the month. Year to date collections for eight months are $12.8 million more than the budgeted estimate.
Privilege tax collections were $2.2 million more than the March estimate, and on a year to date basis, August through March, collections are $17.8 million above the estimate.
All other taxes were under collected by a net of $5.5 million.
Year-to-date collections for eight months were $127.1 million more than the budgeted estimate. The general fund was over collected by $141.6 million and the four other funds were under collected by $14.5 million.
The budgeted revenue estimates for 2012-2013 are based on the State Funding Board’s consensus recommendation of December 19th, 2011 and adopted by the second session of the 107th General Assembly in April 2012. They are available on the state’s website at http://www.tn.gov/finance/bud/budget.html.
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Last Update on January 30, 2015 18:13 GMT
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The Commerce Department says the overall economy grew at a 2.6 percent rate in the October-December period, down from sizzling gains of 4.6 percent in the second quarter and 5 percent in the third quarter.
Consumers did their part in the fourth quarter, pushing up spending by fastest rate in nearly nine years. But businesses investment, trade and government spending weakened.
For the year, the economy grew at a moderate rate of 2.4 percent. But economists believe 2015 could be a breakout year for growth, with consumer spending boosted by strong employment gains and falling gas prices. Many expect growth above 3 percent this year.
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The Labor Department says the employment cost index, which measures pay and benefits, rose 2.2 percent in 2014, up from 2 percent the previous year. That's the biggest gain since 2008. It's also ahead of inflation, which rose 1.3 percent.
Yet the increase is still sluggish by historical standards. In a healthy economy, the index usually rises at about a 3.5 percent pace.
The Federal Reserve is closing watching wages as it considers when to raise the short-term interest rate it controls. Fed Chair Janet Yellen considers rising wages a key sign that the job market is nearing full health.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- U.S. consumers are more confident than they've been since January 2004.
The University of Michigan says that its index of consumer sentiment rose to 98.1 in January from 93.6 last month.
Consumers say the prospects for the U.S. economy are the strongest in a decade, and half of consumers expect the expansion to keep going another five years.
The Michigan survey was the latest evidence that strong job growth and tumbling oil prices have lifted consumers' spirits. The Conference Board on Tuesday reported that its consumer confidence index climbed to the highest level since August 2007. And the Commerce Department reported Friday that consumer spending rose from October through December at the fastest pace in nearly nine years.
DALLAS (AP) -- Pilots at American Airlines and US Airways have approved a single labor contract. That's a step toward combining workforces at the two carriers, which merged in December 2013.
The multiyear deal gives pilots a 23 percent pay raise retroactive to Dec. 2.
The pilots' union said Friday that the contract was approved 66 percent to 34 percent, with 95 percent of eligible pilots casting a vote.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- A jury of six men and six women is continuing deliberations in a case alleging a 1996 Toyota Camry had a design defect that caused a fatal crash.
Jurors received the case late Wednesday afternoon and deliberated all day Thursday without reaching a verdict. They returned to a federal courthouse in Minneapolis on Friday to keep working.
The jurors must decide whether Toyota's design of the 1996 Camry had a defect that was unreasonably dangerous. If they find there was a defect, they must decide if it directly caused injuries to those hurt or killed when Koua Fong Lee crashed into another car in 2006.
Lee spent 2 1/2 years in prison before being released after reports suggested some Toyota cars had sudden acceleration problems.
BERLIN (AP) -- German automaker BMW says it has fixed a security flaw that made 2.2 million of its vehicles vulnerable to break-ins.
The company says the problem affected BMW, Mini and Rolls Royce models equipped with its ConnectedDrive technology, which allows drivers to access certain car functions with a smartphone.
German automobile club ADAC, which discovered the flaw last summer, says hackers could have used a fake cellphone base station to intercept network traffic from the car and lower the windows or open the doors. There are no reports such a break-in ever took place.
BMW spokeswoman Silke Brigl said Friday that hackers wouldn't have been able to start or stop the engine.
Brigl said the problem has been fixed with an automatic update and customers don't need to take any action.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- A federal appeals court says many advertising claims for POM Wonderful juice were deceptive in asserting that it curbs the risk of heart disease, prostate cancer and erectile dysfunction and is clinically proven to work.
In a 3-0 decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit upholds the conclusion that many of POM's ads made misleading or false claims. The conclusion was reached by the Federal Trade Commission.
The ads appeared in national publications, on Internet sites, bus stops, billboards, newsletters and on tags attached to the products.
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MOSCOW (AP) -- Russia deputy sports minister Yuri Nagornykh says his country's economic crisis is forcing athletes to scale back their training plans for next year's Olympics in Brazil.
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The measures affect athletes for the Rio Olympics, and the 2018 Winter Olympics, he added.
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The Columbus Dispatch reports the university expects a $3 million increase this year in royalties from licensed merchandise sales as fans continue to buy national championship gear and keepsakes.
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Licensing officials also attribute increased sales to the fact Ohio State hadn't won a championship since 2002.
More than half of each dollar that comes into the school's licensing office goes to academic affairs. The athletics department, alumni association and student life program also receive portions of the revenue.
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