- Associated Press - Friday, February 13, 2015

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Tennessee’s general fund tax collections in January were $214 million higher than projected in January on strong consumer spending over the holiday season and unexpected corporate tax payments.

The tax collections reflecting economic activity in December bring the state’s total revenues to $323 million more than expected through the first half of the budget year.

Sales taxes grew 7.8 percent in January, the highest rate in 33 months.

Finance Commissioner Larry Martin says the reduction in the jobless rate and lower gas prices helped spur spending.

Corporate franchise and excise tax collections were $171 million higher than expected, more than doubling the original projection of $152 million. By comparison, the state’s business tax collections were just $8 million above projections in the other five months of the budget year.

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