Politics & Government

Kentucky's General Fund revenues continue to improve in December

FRANKFORT — State revenues continued to improve in December, according to numbers released Thursday.

Kentucky's General Fund revenues for December rose 4.9 percent compared with the previous year, according to figures released by the Office of State Budget Director. Total revenues were $945.8 million, compared with $901.4 million the previous December.

Revenues are on track to meet projections for the fiscal year set by the Consensus Forecasting Group, a group of independent economists who predict how much money the state will generate. State leaders use those projections to write the two-year budget.

Revenues need only to grow 1 percent for the remaining six months of the fiscal year to meet the target of 2.4 percent growth for the year. Still, state budget officials were cautious Thursday about Kentucky's fiscal health, saying that the first six months had uneven growth.

"We are pleased that the General Fund is on track to achieve the budgeted revenue levels," state budget director Mary Lassiter said. "However, sales and use tax receipts, which typically act as a barometer of the underlying economic conditions, continue to perform poorly, having increased only 0.1 percent through the first half of the fiscal year."

Lassiter said that December's tax collections were buoyed by the state's tax amnesty program, which allowed delinquent taxpayers to pay past-due taxes without penalties.