By Ronnie Ellis/CNHI News Service
Kentucky state government tax receipts continue to grow at a slightly higher than predicted rate giving state policymakers hope that a series of revenue shortfalls may be over.
State Budget Directory Mary Lassiter reported Wednesday that October receipts in the state’s General Fund grew 8.1 percent over the same month last year. Receipts have grown 5.3 percent for the first four months of the fiscal year that began July 1 and need to increase by 3.7 percent over the next eight months (compared to last year) to meet the state budget’s revenue estimates.
Road Fund receipts also grew, by 12.2 percent over October 2009. Road Fund receipts for the fiscal year are up 12 percent and a 1.5 percent increase over last year in the final eight months of the year will be enough to meet official budgeted estimates for the year.
Continuing increases in the corporate income tax, sales taxes and individual income taxes indicate Kentucky’s economy may be recovering from the deep recession that has produced a series of budget cuts and adjustments over the past two and a half year.
“Strong revenue growth in the first half of the fiscal year was predicted and budgeted,” Lassiter said. “We are pleased to see that tax revenues are responding very favorably to the slow but steady recovery from the national recession.”
That’s not to say lawmakers won’t continue at least for the short term to confront budget challenges. The state faces a significant deficit in the Medicaid budget and unemployment rates remain above 9 percent in Kentucky. And Lassiter said the strong growth in October isn’t likely to continue at the same rate.
“October’s revenue growth is not sustainable going forward, but it is certainly encouraging to see the Kentucky economy and the corresponding tax receipts, advancing forward in the manner projected by the revenue forecasters and relied upon in the enacted budget.”
Total revenues in the General Fund for October were $705.3 million compared to $652.4 million in October of last year. Corporate income tax receipts grew by $12.2 million and are up 67.8 percent for the fiscal year thus far. Sales and usage tax receipts rose 7 percent and are up 3.9 percent for the first four months of the fiscal year, although that is slightly behind budgeted projections. Individual income tax collections rose 7 percent — up 4.6 percent for the year and again, slightly behind projections.
Coal severance taxes grew 6.1 percent in October — reversing the trend for the first three months of the year. For the four months combined, coal severance taxes are down 4 percent over last year. Lottery receipts didn’t grow though they are up 1.7 percent for the year.
Motor fuels and vehicle usage taxes fueled the 12.2 percent growth in the Road Fund collections. Those taxes are up 19.3 percent for the year, mostly Lassiter said because of rising fuel prices. Usage taxes grew 16 percent.
The Road Fund receipts are ahead of official estimates but Lassiter expects the growth rate to level off in the second half of the year.
By Ronnie Ellis/CNHI News Service
- State News
Prevailing wage bill dies in committee
The state House of Representatives will apparently not vote on a bill to remove the requirement that public school construction projects pay the area’s prevailing wage.
Bill would allow Paul to run for two offices
Most people know Kentucky Republican U.S. Sen. Rand Paul is considering running for president in 2016. But, if he does, he wants to be able to hedge his bets by running for re-election to his Senate seat at the same time.
4,000 march, remember in Frankfort
This time the welcome was warmer; still cold, but the sun shone; and 50 years of progress was marked.
Same-sex marriage decisions
Kentucky’s Democratic Attorney General won’t appeal a federal judge’s decision that Kentucky must recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states — but Kentucky’s Democratic governor will.
Almost time for budget talk at session
More than halfway through the 2014 General Assembly, little has been seen of lawmakers’ plans for a new two-year state budget — but that’s about to change.
Same-sex marriage now legally recognized in Ky.
At least for the time being, same-sex couples with valid marriage licenses from other states must be legally recognized as married in Kentucky.
Debate ensues over juvenile court proceedings opening to public
Some juvenile court proceedings may soon be open to the public, but the measure still faces some stiff opposition in the state Senate from some.
Medical marijuana bill clears House panel
Stephanie Shown knows it was a small victory in a war she and others calling for legalization of medical marijuana are likely to lose this year.
2 honored for work with sexually abused
It’s Erica Brown Myers’ job to help those who have been victimized by sexual abuse. But helping others can take a toll on the helper as well as the victim.
Clinton visits fuel Dems in CNHI communities
It’s tough being a Democrat in heavily Republican Laurel County. Just ask 81-year-old Bernice Chesnut of London.
- More State News Headlines
- Prevailing wage bill dies in committee