Tennessee general fund beats expectations by $543M

8:10 am | August 10, 2012

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee general fund tax collections finished the budget year at $543 million above estimates after July revenues beat expectations by $2.7 million.

State Finance Commissioner Mark Emkes said in a release Thursday that the surplus will help the state maintain a balanced budget for the following fiscal year.

Gov. Bill Haslam and fellow Republican leaders in the Legislature have rejected minority Democrats’ calls to use the surplus to further reduce the state’s sales tax on groceries and to help defray tuition hikes at state colleges and universities.

Over the course of the budget year, sales taxes collections exceeded projections by $242 million, posting a 6.6 percent annual growth rate. Corporate franchise and excise taxes were over collected by $308 million, and grew by 22 percent for the year.

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