FRANKFORT — Kentucky's General Fund, which pays for most state programs, had its best month ever in collections in April and is expected to finish this fiscal year on June 30 with a $46.1 million surplus.
But the state's Road Fund, which pays for highway and other transportation projects, dropped 12.8 percent in April collections and is on course to end this fiscal year $11.1 million short of what was expected.
The Jekyll-and-Hyde financial news for the state came Tuesday when state budget director Jane C. Driskell reported that Kentucky took in more than $1 billion in General Fund receipts in April, the most ever for any month in the state's history. Total General Fund revenues for the month were nearly $1.03 billion, compared to $830.2 million in April 2014.
That's a gain of $193.5 million, a 23.5 percent increase. The previous monthly all-time high was $979.1 million in June 2014.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to the Lexington Herald-Leader
The state ended last fiscal year with a $90 million revenue shortfall, Driskell said.
For the first 10 months of fiscal year 2015, state receipts have grown 6.2 percent. The budget enacted by the state legislature calls for 3.6 percent growth in revenue.
Driskell also said Kentucky is seeing strong signs of economic improvement. Those signs, she said, are consistently strong collections in withholding and sales taxes, low unemployment, growth in personal income and higher consumer spending.
Among the major accounts in April, sales and use-tax receipts increased 7.3 percent for the month and have grown 4.4 percent so far this year. Individual income tax collections grew 39.5 percent in April.
Growth in this account was broad-based and the withholding component posted a 12.3 percent increase in April indicating a strong labor market. Total individual income tax receipts have grown 11.4 percent though the first 10 months of this fiscal year.
While the General Fund receipts blossomed in April, the Road Fund receipts of $115.1 million was a 12.8 percent decrease and the state is expected to end this fiscal year with an $11.1 million shortfall.
The decline in April was generally across the board as most of the major accounts experienced declines.
The official Road Fund revenue estimate call for revenues to decline 0.9 percent for the fiscal year.
Based on year-to-date tax collections, revenues must increase 0.8 percent for the remainder of the year to meet the estimated budget of about $1.5 billion.
Among the accounts, taxes on motor fuels fell 14.8 percent because of a lower tax rate.
The Office of State Budget Director's third quarter economic and revenue report projects that the Road Fund will fall short of the official estimate by $11.1 million.