Politics & Government

State tax receipts show 'continued improvement' in January

FRANKFORT — Kentucky's General Fund, which pays for most state programs, took in 6.6 percent more money in January than it did in January 2010, state budget director Mary Lassiter said Thursday.

The $45.8 million increase brought total revenues for the month to $744.4 million, compared to $698.6 million during January 2010. Receipts have grown 5.6 percent for the first seven months of this fiscal year, which began July 1.

Lassiter said the enacted state budget calls for 4.2 percent revenue growth.

Revenues would need to grow by 2.3 percent for the last five months of the fiscal year to meet the official revenue estimate, she said.

"January was another encouraging month as most of the major taxes continued to show improvement," Lassiter said in a news release. "However, the sales-tax receipts are not growing at the rates projected in the budget, and we continue to be concerned about employment levels."

She predicted that growth will probably slow the rest of the year but that the state is on course to meet or slightly exceed revenue projections.

Among the major General Fund accounts:

■ Sales and use tax receipts increased 2.3 percent for the month and have grown 4.3 percent year-to-date.

■ Corporation income tax receipts rose 34 percent and have increased 21.4 percent in the first seven months of the fiscal year.

■ Individual income tax collections grew 18.1 percent and are up 6.2 percent through the first seven months of the fiscal year.

■ Property tax collections were off 26.9 percent, primarily due to timing differences in the collection and remittance of the real property tax receipts, and are down 1.8 percent year-to-date.

■ Cigarette tax receipts declined 11.4 percent and have now fallen 4.8 percent year-to-date.

■ Coal severance tax receipts grew 27 percent and are up 11.9 percent through the first seven months of the fiscal year.

Road Fund receipts for January totaled $107.2 million, a 17.6 percent increase over January 2010. Year-to-date receipts for this fiscal year have grown 13 percent.

The official Road Fund estimate calls for an increase in revenues of 5.3 percent for the fiscal year. Receipts, however, are consistent with the state's most recent interim estimate, which calls for growth of 11 percent for the fiscal year.