Tennessee State Budget
Tennessee’s budget represents the goals our state policymakers want to achieve, the public goods and services intended to help meet those goals, and detailed plans for how to finance them.
The Sycamore Institute’s work on the state budget seeks to help interested stakeholders understand where the money comes from, where it goes, and what factors influence its flow through the system.
Our Tennessee State Budget Primer unpacks the budget process, breaks down the numbers, and explores historical trends using simple language and charts. You can also use our Budget Data Explorer to see how the mix of programs and revenues in Tennessee’s budget has ebbed and flowed over time.
Tennessee Tax Revenue Tracker for FY 2023
As of March 31, 2023, Tennessee had collected about 69% of the $19.5 billion in total budgeted revenue for the current fiscal year.
Summary of Gov. Lee’s FY 2024 Amended Budget
The FY 2024 budget amendment adds $501 million — or 1.7% — in net new spending from state revenues.
What’s in Gov. Lee’s 2023 Transportation Modernization Act
Gov. Bill Lee released his $55.6 billion recommendation for the state’s FY 2024 Budget — along with recommended changes for FY 2023.
The Budget in Brief: Summary of Gov. Lee’s FY 2024 Recommended Budget
The FY 2024 recommended budget includes unprecedented spending levels fueled by multiple years of significantly better-than-expected state revenue collections.
Video: Sycamore Presents Before the Senate Finance, Ways & Means Committee
Sycamore presents on topics like inflation, gas taxes, and the rainy day fund before the Senate Finance, Ways & Means Committee.
6 Facts About Road Funding in Tennessee
Tennessee’s ability to fund road construction and maintenance faces pressures from all sides.
How Inflation Affects Tennessee’s State & Local Governments
Inflation raises operating costs at every level of government, but Tennessee’s reliance on sales tax means state revenues may keep up with inflation better than those of local governments.
Tennessee Tax Revenue Tracker for FY 2022
Tennessee finished FY 2022 with a $1.6 billion unbudgeted surplus after collecting 28% more tax revenue than lawmakers initially budgeted.
Stadium Subsidies in Tennessee
Since 2021, state and local officials in Tennessee have committed or proposed $1.8 billion in subsidies for at least 5 pro sports venues.
Summary of Gov. Lee’s FY 2023 Amended Budget
The governor amended his FY 2023 budget proposal with $260 million in new spending and net revenue changes from surplus and tax cuts.
Tennessee’s Budget in Brief: Summary of Gov. Lee’s FY 2023 Recommended Budget
The proposal includes unprecedented new spending levels fueled by multiple years of significantly better-than-expected state revenue collections.
Tennessee May Have an Extra $3 Billion to Budget Next Year
Even after the Ford deal, Gov. Lee and Tennessee lawmakers may still have at least $3 billion in unallocated funds to appropriate next year.
Tennessee Tax Revenue Tracker for FY 2021
Tennessee collected 21% more tax revenue in FY 2021 than lawmakers initially budgeted, giving the state a $2.1 billion unbudgeted surplus.
Summary of Gov. Lee’s FY 2022 Amended Budget
The governor amended his FY 2022 budget proposal with $73 million in net new spending and $325 million in off-budget allocations.
What and How Much Will Tennessee Get from the American Rescue Plan
The new federal law could bring $20-30 billion into Tennessee, including $6.3 billion in flexible funds for state and local governments.
The Budget in Brief: Summary of Gov. Lee’s FY 2022 Recommended Budget
The plan reflects much higher-than-expected revenues and directs the largest amounts to capital improvements/maintenance, structural balance, and economic development.
Tennessee May Have an Extra $3 Billion to Budget this Year
Tennessee collected far more tax revenue than expected over the last year, leaving Gov. Lee and state lawmakers with a lot of money to allocate.
Tennessee Tax Revenue Tracker for FY 2020
Despite the onset of a recession, Tennessee collected about $396 million (or 2%) more tax revenue in FY 2020 than originally budgeted for the fiscal year
Federal Coronavirus Funding for Tennessee
Tennessee will get over $25 billion in federal aid, including $8 billion to state government. Much of the relief has already occurred or will soon expire.
Summary of the Final FY 2021 Budget
Facing an expected $1.5 billion revenue shortfall over two years, Gov. Lee and state lawmakers turned to nearly every available tool to balance the budget.
How Big Is Tennessee’s Revenue Drop Going to Be?
Four economists gave their best estimates of how the coronavirus pandemic will affect state tax revenue in the current and next fiscal years.
Which Tennessee Counties Might See the Largest Drop in Sales Tax Revenue?
As the coronavirus’ economic toll grows, the Great Recession offers clues for how falling sales tax revenues will affect county budgets.
How State Policy Shapes Local Governance in Tennessee
Tennessee’s local governments often have the most impact on our daily lives, but state policies frequently shape their options, decisions, and priorities.
What Will the Coronavirus Recession Mean for Tennessee’s Budget?
The pandemic has serious health and economic effects, yet Tennessee still has to balance its budget. These are the challenges policymakers face and the tools they have right now.
Summary of the FY 2021 Preliminary Budget
With pandemic here and recession near, lawmakers passed a preliminary FY 2021 budget that trims $854 million from Gov. Lee’s first draft.
State Budget Surpluses, Deficits, and Rainy Day Funds
We explain why surpluses and deficits occur, the role of revenue projections and rainy day funds, and the trade-offs Tennessee policymakers must weigh when crafting the budget.
What You Might Have Missed in the 2019 Legislative Session
Changes to TennCare, education, criminal justice, online sales tax, sports betting, and fiscal notes had significant budget implications.
Summary of Gov. Lee’s FY 2020 Amended Budget
Governor Lee’s FY 2020 budget amendment increases state expenditures by $208.7 million relative to the recommendation submitted in March.
The Budget in Brief: Summary of Gov. Lee’s FY 2020 Recommended Budget
The governor’s recommended Budget for FY 2020 totals $38.6 billion, an increase of 1.1% over estimates for the current fiscal year.
Budgeting for Incarceration in Tennessee
Facts and trends on how Tennessee budgets for incarceration of state prisoners, which is consistently among the largest state revenue expenses.
Tennessee’s Budget May Not Be Ready for the Next Recession
Tennessee’s budget may not have enough rainy day reserves to withstand the next recession without tax hikes or spending cuts.
5 Issues for Tennessee’s Next Governor and General Assembly
No matter who wins the election, these 5 challenges could keep Tennessee’s next governor and General Assembly busy throughout 2019 and beyond.
FY 2018-2019 Tennessee Tax Revenue Tracker
Tennessee collected about $636 million (or 4%) more than was originally budgeted for the fiscal year that ended on June 30, 2019
FY 2017-2018 Tennessee Tax Revenue Tracker
Tennessee collected about $344 million (or 2%) more than was originally budgeted for the fiscal year that ended on June 30, 2018.
TN’s Next Governor Will Probably Face a Recession
When that recession comes, the governor’s options could prove more limited than in years past. Tough decisions lie ahead.
What Is Tennessee’s State-Funded Primary Care Safety Net?
It includes 4 types of health care providers focused on services that help uninsured adults avoid more costly hospitalizations.
Summary of Gov. Haslam’s FY 2018-2019 Amended Budget
The governor’s amendment makes relatively modest changes, including $30.2M for school safety and another $3.7M for the opioid epidemic.
5 for TN: Health, Budget, Opioids, the Economy & TennCare
Five 1-page infographics on issues that affect Tennesseans in 2018.
The Budget in Brief: Summary of Gov. Haslam’s FY 2018-2019 Recommended Budget
Find out where the money comes from, where it goes, and what changed from the current budget.
Healthy Debate 2018: Connections Between Tennessee’s Budget, Economy, and Health and Well-Being
Health, prosperity, public policy…all of these things are connected.
Healthy Debate 2018: Understanding Tennessee’s Budget
The budget represents our policymakers’ goals, the public goods and services intended to help meet those goals, and detailed plans to finance them.
Healthy Debate 2018: A Primer on Health & Budget Policy in Tennessee
A resource for any Tennessean who hopes to make or influence public policy in our state.
Tennessee’s State Budget — Brown Bag “Lunch & Learn” on Nov. 7
Budget decisions by Tennessee’s governor and legislature affect every Tennessean. Join us on Nov. 7 to find out how those decisions get made!
Federal Funding in Tennessee and the Strings Attached
Federal funding in Tennessee accounts for nearly 40% of the state budget. Most of that money comes with some big restrictions on how we can spend it.
Summary of Governor Haslam’s FY 2017-2018 Amended Budget
Governor Haslam’s 2017 Tennessee budget amendment makes a number of changes to the original budget recommendation he released in January.
Comparing Annual Changes in Gas Tax Revenue and Car Sales
Lawmakers considering gas tax revenue and car sales taxes to fund highway projects in Tennessee should weigh the trade-offs of both options.
An Update on the IMPROVE Act – The Senate Transportation Committee Compromise
The Senate compromise on Gov. Haslam’s IMPROVE Act makes the original bill’s Highway Fund tax increases smaller and its General Fund tax reductions larger.
TennCare’s Federal Funding under the AHCA
Under the American Health Care Act (AHCA), federal TennCare funding could be $460 million more to $2.6 billion less than current law over the next decade.
How U.S. House Medicaid Reforms Could Impact TennCare
The American Health Care Act (AHCA) being considered by Congress would have a significant impact on federal funding for TennCare.
Op-Ed: Let Data Drive Tennessee Transportation Debate
Good data and research are critical to any public policy discussion. In an op-ed for The Tennessean, we put current transportation issues in context.
The Budget in Brief: Governor Haslam’s FY 2017-2018 Tennessee Budget Proposal
A detailed summary and analysis of Governor Bill Haslam’s 2017 Tennessee budget proposal with charts, graphs and a 1-page infographic.
Tennessee Highway Fund Fact Sheet
Charts & graphs about the Tennessee Highway Fund – where the money comes from, how funding and Tennessee’s gas tax have changed over time, and other trends.
Tennessee State Budget Primer (First Edition)
The Tennessee State Budget Primer explains what the budget does, how it’s created, where the money comes from, and where it goes.