Each year the General Assembly of TN must pass a budget by June 30 for the following fiscal year of July 1-June30. The General Assembly may not spend or appropriate more money than is anticipated in revenue. The Tennessee Constitution requires a balanced budget. If more revenue is collected than was appropriated (a surplus) then 10% must go into the rainy day fund (until it reaches 5% of anticipated yearly tax collections) and the remaining 90% of the surplus may be spent OR returned to taxpayers.
In Fiscal Year 05-06, which runs from July 1st 2005 - June 30 , 2006, TN taxpayers paid $411,186,000 more in taxes to THEIR State government than was originally appropriated by the General Assembly.
In the first five months of Fiscal year 06-07, which runs from July 1st 2006 - June 30 , 2007, $50,204,000 more has been collected in taxes than was anticipated.
So, for the 12 months of Fiscal year 05-06 and the first 5 months of 06-07, $461 million more in Revenue has been collected than was originally appropriated.
...and not one dime has been returned to taxpayers in the form of a lower food tax.