Kentucky General Fund revenues up again in October

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(The Center Square) – Kentucky budget officials Friday announced the state’s General Fund account continued to see growth, and it marked the 14th straight month that receipts topped the billion-dollar mark.

The $1.24 billion generated last month represented an increase of more than $23 million from the total raised in October 2022. For the first four months of the fiscal year, General Fund receipts are at $5.04 billion, up 5.6% from the same period last year.

According to State Budget Director John Hicks, the state is seeing changes in where the General Fund is getting its money thanks to the tax reform legislation the General Assembly passed two years ago over Gov. Andy Beshear’s veto.

“Total income tax receipts fell $49.8 million. Part of that decline was a drop-off in withholding receipts due to the tax rate reduction,” he said. “Lower collections in net returns and declarations, associated with the refundable credit created by the passthrough entity tax, were a second reason. The sales tax grew by 9.0 percent in October – once again showing that the Kentucky consumer is confident in the direction of the economy.”

The state’s 6% sales tax, which was expanded to include additional services, generated $578.5 million last month, an increase of more than $47 million.

While personal income taxes fell by 9.3%, property taxes ballooned to $9.3 million, up more than $5.8 million from the previous year.

Lottery proceeds also went up as the $38.5 million Kentucky received last month was a 12.4% increase from October 2022.

Budget officials said Kentucky could withstand revenue declines of up to 2.9% for the next eight months and still hit the revenue target of $15.12 billion for the fiscal year.

Kentucky’s Road Fund also saw big gains for the month, as the $151.9 million raised in October was nearly 8% better than the previous year. The primary reason for the increase was the higher fuel taxes the state received. The $72.3 million Kentucky took in last month was nearly $7 million more than it received last year.

At $617.6 million for the first four months, the fund is performing 9.6% better than it did for the same period last year. Officials said receipts for the remaining months could plummet by up to 10.6% over the next eight months, and the state would still be on pace to meet its budgetary goal of $1.68 billion for the fiscal year.

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