NASHVILLE (AP) - Tennessee's general fund tax collections have beaten projections by $117 million through the first two months of the budget year.

The state's collections in September were driven by corporate franchise and excise taxes that came in at $71 million above expectations, and by sales tax revenues that beat estimates by $24 million.

The better-than-expected tax collections follow a more than $550 million surplus the state accumulated during the last budget year.

That pot of money has drawn the eye of lawmakers who have made competing proposals on how to spend it on areas such as road funding or eliminating the state's tax on income from stocks and bonds.

Gov. Bill Haslam has said that those proposals must compete with other state budget needs in areas like education and health care.

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