Fall in Jan. Revenues Result Of Sales Tax Drop

Friday, February 8, 2008, Vol. 123, No. 27

NASHVILLE (AP) - Tennessee's overall revenues fell $110,000 below projections in January, mainly because of a drop in sales tax collections.

"This is the first time in more than three decades that sales tax receipts for December dropped below the previous year, yielding a negative growth rate," Finance Commissioner Dave Goetz said Wednesday. "It confirms what retailers have already reported, that consumer spending was disappointing in December."

Goetz said that sales tax collections came in about $26.6 million below the budgeted estimate of $86.1 million for January.

However, franchise and excise taxes combined were $37.8 million above the budgeted estimate of $142.8 million, which Goetz said offset the drop in sales tax collections.

For the second straight month, there was a shortfall in the general fund. It was under- collected by $183.2 million in January, following a $51 million shortfall in December.

Tobacco tax collections were $3.3 million below the budgeted estimate of $26.5 million, and for six months they are $43.6 million under the budgeted estimate.

"We will manage our way through this," Goetz said.

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