Politics & Government

Kentucky's general fund revenue dips 3.5 percent in December

FRANKFORT — Kentucky's general fund took in 3.5 percent less money last month than it did in December 2012, a decrease of $33.2 million, the state budget director's office said Friday.

Total revenues for the month were $912.6 million, compared to $945.8 million in December 2012.

General fund receipts have increased 1.2 percent for the first six months of the fiscal year ending June 30. The official revenue forecast for this fiscal year is 2.1 percent growth.

Revenues would need to grow 3.1 percent for the last six months of this fiscal year to meet that estimate.

State Budget Director Jane C. Driskell said the December 2013 decline was not all that weak.

"December 2012 collections contained approximately $25 million in amnesty money that created an artificial headwind to overcome this year," she said. "Additionally, property tax collections are subject to timing and large month-to-month variations.

"Taken together, these events created a nearly $45 million hole which the remaining tax collections could not overcome. We will continue to monitor receipts and are optimistic we can meet the revenue estimates."

Meanwhile, receipts for the state road fund increased 4.2 percent, with collections of $121.1 million.

Official road fund estimates call for an increase in revenues of 6.1 percent for the fiscal year.

Based on year-to-date growth of 7 percent, revenues need to increase 5.2 percent for the next six months to meet the estimate.

Driskell said that even though road fund collections are ahead of pace to meet the official estimate, "receipts will slow down in the second half of the year" because the tax rate on motor fuels will decline 1.5 cents per gallon from January through March because of reductions in wholesale fuel prices.