General Fund receipts rose 10.7% in April; Road Fund up 8%

FRANKFORT, Ky. — State Budget Director John Chilton reported Friday that General Fund receipts surged ahead 10.7 percent in April with revenues of $1,289.9 million. April’s receipts compare favorably to the $1,165.3 million collected in April 2018. Through the first ten months of FY19, the General Fund has grown 4.8 percent.

Receipts reached a new all-time peak in April, besting the previous record by $124.6 million.

The official General Fund revenue estimate for FY19 calls for revenue to grow 3.3 percent compared to FY18 actual receipts. After April’s collections are considered, General Fund revenues could fall 4.2 percent for the remaining two months of the fiscal year and still meet the official estimate.

Chilton cited tax law changes in 2018 and 2019 as the impetus for April’s growth spurt.

“Once again, the sales and cigarette taxes produced large increases due to the passage of HB 487 in 2018. However, $60 million of April’s General Fund growth was attributable to the income taxes, despite  2017 HB 487 adopting rate decreases which reduced receipts in the months leading up to the income tax filing season. Part of that increase emphasizes the base broadening that occurred in 2018, where some individual income tax deductions were eliminated, increasing the amount of income subject to taxation.

“The remainder of growth is linked to a provision of HB 354, enacted in 2019, that requires calendar-year corporations to make estimated tax payments in April and June instead of waiting until June for one large payment. Since a portion of the corporation income tax revenue received in April would have been received in June, part of the April increase could be an acceleration of income tax revenue rather than pure economic growth.  Nevertheless, April was an extremely positive month – creating a greater possibility that FY19 revenues may exceed the budgeted revenue estimates.”

Among the major General Fund accounts:

  • Individual income taxes fell marginally by 0.2 percent in April. Year-to-date collections are down 1.9 percent. Despite the annual decline, the returns submitted this 2019 filing season have helped offset some of the year-to-date declines in withholding due to the 2018 rate reduction.
  • Corporation income tax receipts and the limited liability entity tax (LLET) grew 54.6 percent for the month and have risen 8.7 percent thus far in FY19. A portion of April’s increase represents an acceleration of revenues that are normally received in June.
  • Sales tax revenues grew by a surprising 12.3 percent in April. Sales tax collections have increased 8.8 percent through the first ten months of FY19, a pace slightly ahead of the official projections. In 2018, the sales tax was expanded to include many services that were not previously subject to tax.
  • Cigarette taxes were up 100.8 percent for the month and have grown 70.6 percent for the first ten months of the fiscal year. The revenue increase coincides with the 83.3 percent increase in the cigarette tax from $0.60 per pack to $1.10 per 2018 HB 487.
  • Property tax receipts rose 15.6 percent in April and are up 4.5 percent for the year.
  • Coal severance tax receipts grew 30.7 percent in April. Year-to-date collections are down 1.2 percent.
  • Lottery revenues in April exceeded last year’s dividend payment by $1.0 million and are up 4.4 percent for the fiscal year.

Road Fund receipts rose 8.0 percent in April with collections of $145.6 million.  Year-to-date collections have grown 3.4 percent compared to last year’s total.   The official Road Fund revenue estimate calls for a 0.3 percent decrease in receipts for the entire FY19.  Based on year-to-date collections, revenues can fall 17.6 percent for the remainder of the fiscal year to meet that estimate.

Among the Road Fund accounts:

  • Motor fuels receipts grew 1.4 percent in April due to an increase in gallons purchased.
  • Motor vehicle usage collections rose 19.2 percent for the month with receipts of $49.8 million following a poor performance in March. Year-to-date collections are up 4.9 percent.
  • License and privilege taxes were up 3.8 in April. Year-to-date growth is a healthy 4.2 percent.
  • Nontax receipts continued a high rate of growth, primarily due to income on investments. Growth in nontax receipts is a strong 32.7 percent thus far in FY19.

Additional information is available here  http://www.osbd.ky.gov

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