Politics & Government

Kentucky revenues rebound a bit, but money for transportation is down

FRANKFORT — Kentucky revenues rebounded slightly in August, offsetting a decline in July, data released Monday show.

But revenue that supports state transportation projects declined in August for the first time in 25 months.

Data from the Office of State Budget Director show a 2.5 percent increase in total receipts for August 2012 compared to August 2011. Receipts in July were down 2.3 percent compared to the previous July.

Collections for August totaled $639.1 million, compared to $623.3 million in 2011. Kentucky revenue forecasters had predicted a 2.4 percent growth this fiscal year over the previous fiscal year. The state fiscal year started July 1.

It's too early to say whether Kentucky revenues will meet the forecast. State Budget Director Mary Lassiter said Monday that the state was watching receipts closely.

"The increase in August receipts roughly offsets the decline we experienced in July," Lassiter said. "However, the two largest General Fund revenue sources, the individual and sales taxes, have started (the fiscal year) with year-to-date declines through August. We will be monitoring these taxes as the year progresses."

Lottery sales continue to perform strongly, with growth of 3.3. percent from August 2011. But coal severance taxes continue to decline, state receipts show. Receipts decreased 19.4 percent in August and have decreased 19.1 percent for the first two months of the fiscal year.

Road fund receipts — or gasoline and other taxes used to fund transportation projects — also declined in August after 25 months of growth. The last time road fund receipts did not perform better than the previous year was in June 2010.

Overall, the road fund collected $130.4 million in August.