Politics & Government

Kentucky's General Fund revenue up nearly 13 percent in November

The Kentucky State Capitol building in Frankfort.
The Kentucky State Capitol building in Frankfort. Lexington Herald-Leader

FRANKFORT — Kentucky's General Fund, which pays for most state programs, took in 12.8 percent more money in November than it did in November 2013, state budget director Jane Driskell said Wednesday.

Driskell, in a news release, said sales and individual income taxes accounted for much of the gain.

"We are pleased with the strong General Fund results in November, recognizing that some growth could be attributed to timing issues," she said. "We are hopeful that continued strong growth in sales tax receipts and withholding (payroll taxes) is a positive sign of improving underlying economic conditions."

Total revenue for last month was $905.7 million, compared to $802.9 million in November 2013. That's an increase of $102.8 million.

State receipts have risen 4.2 percent for the first five months of the fiscal year, which began July 1. They need to increase 3.2 percent over the final seven months of fiscal year 2015 to reach the official revenue estimate of $9.8 billion.

Among the major revenue accounts, individual income tax collections rose 13.7 percent, primarily because of 16.3 percent growth in withholding collections. Through the first months of this fiscal year, individual income tax collections have jumped 6.9 percent.

Sales and use tax receipts increased 11.8 percent in November and have grown 5.6 percent for the fiscal year.

Two tax accounts that dropped were cigarette and coal severance.

Cigarette tax receipts fell 24.3 percent in November and are down 4.8 percent for the first five months of the fiscal year. Coal severance tax receipts declined 3.9 percent in November and are down 4.9 percent for the year.

Road Fund receipts, which pay for road work and other transportation projects, totaled $129.7 million for the month. That is a 0.2 percent decrease from November 2013 levels.

Year-to-date Road Fund receipts have grown 1 percent.

Based on collections through the first five months of the fiscal year, Road Fund receipts may decline 2.2 percent over the balance of the fiscal year to meet the official yearly estimate of $1.55 billion.

Motor fuels tax receipts jumped 1.3 percent and have grown 1.3 percent over the first five months of this fiscal year. Motor vehicle usage tax collections grew 3.1 percent in November but have dropped 0.6 percent for the year to date.