Politics & Government

Kentucky General Fund revenue up 2 percent in July

FRANKFORT — Kentucky started the new fiscal year with relatively solid revenue collections in July.

State Budget Director Jane Driskell announced Friday that July receipts for the General Fund, which pays for most state programs, totaled $690.6 million. That's a 2 percent increase compared to July of last year.

The official revenue estimate for fiscal year 2014, which began July 1, calls for revenue to rise 1.9 percent compared to fiscal year 2013 receipts.

Based on July's results, General Fund revenues need to increase 1.9 percent for the remainder of the fiscal year, which ends next June 30, to meet the official estimate.

Driskell said the overall direction of revenue growth is in line with expectations.

"Despite continued weakness in sales and use and coal severance tax collections, we are comfortable that our total General Fund revenues will be consistent with the official budget estimates," Driskell said in a news release.

She noted that the Consensus Forecasting Group, a panel of independent economists that tries to predict how much money the state will collect, is scheduled to hold three meetings between mid-August and the end of the calendar year to revise the official estimate for fiscal year 2014 as well as projections for fiscal years 2015 and 2016.

Among the major General Fund accounts in July, individual income tax receipts rose 1.3 percent, sales tax revenues were down 1.4 percent, corporation income tax collections rose 156.5 percent, cigarette tax increase rose 13.8 percent, property tax receipts fell 3.8 percent, coal severance tax revenues declined 21.1 percent and lottery revenues increased 3.2 percent.

Driskell also said Road Fund revenues for July totaled $119.3 million, an increase of 1.6 percent compared to last July. She said strong motor vehicle usage tax receipts helped bolster total receipts.

Based on the first month's receipts, revenues need to grow 5.4 percent for the rest of the fiscal to meet budgeted levels for the Road Fund.