FRANKFORT — Kentucky's revenues rebounded in September, thanks in large part to better-than-expected sales tax growth, according to new figures released Monday.
The Office of the State Budget Director said the state's General Fund receipts — taxes and fees — increased 10 percent from September 2010. The increase, from $763 million in 2010 to $840 million in 2011, was fueled largely by a 13 percent jump in sales tax revenue, state figures show.
It was good news after revenue receipts dropped in August following 15 months of growth. Many economists and state leaders were worried that Kentucky's still-fragile economic recovery was softening.
Mary Lassiter, the state budget director, said in a news release Monday that other states also have seen jumps in revenue growth in September.
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"Indiana, West Virginia, North Carolina and Arkansas all completed the first fiscal quarters with significant revenue growth," Lassiter said.
The Consensus Forecasting Group — a group of independent economists — will meet Friday to begin calculating Kentucky's revenue estimates for the next two years. State legislators will use those numbers to write the next two-year budget when the General Assembly returns to Frankfort in January.
In September, the group of economists was leaning toward a more pessimistic view of the state's revenue forecast, in part due to August's poorer performance.
Lassiter noted that even though the state's finances appear more volatile, revenues for this fiscal year have to increase just 0.2 percent for the remainder of the year to meet this year's revenue projection. The fiscal year ends June 30.
Another bright spot was corporate income taxes, which grew by 27 percent in September and 31.8 percent in the first three months of this fiscal year. Economists noted that Kentucky businesses remain profitable during tough times.
Road Fund receipts — used to build and maintain roads — grew 5.9 percent in September, the 15th consecutive month of growth, state officials said.