FRANKFORT, Ky. — Earlier this month, Gov. Matt Bevin announced that Kentucky closed Fiscal Year 2019 with record high state revenues, and Thursday the Office of the State Budget Director is releasing the results of the budget surplus for the year.
The commonwealth’s FY19 General Fund revenues exceeded estimates by $194.5 million, reaching an all-time high and surpassed FY18 revenues by more than $550 million.
The Office of the State Budget Director announced that, following payment of $33.2 million in unbudgeted but necessary government expenditures, the following appropriations were made, as prescribed by the FY 2018-20 biennial budget:
- Coal severance tax to coal counties – $15 million
- Mineral severance tax to mineral counties – $2.7 million
- Lottery receipts to need-based scholarships – $14.9 million
- Teachers Retirement System (TRS) post-retirement health insurance fund – $70 million
- Kentucky Employees Retirement System (KERS) Nonhazardous unfunded pension liability fund – $60.1 million
In its year-end revenue report, the Office of the State Budget Director attributed the commonwealth’s revenue growth to statewide economic development efforts and tax reform policies that broadened the tax base and modernized the tax rate structure.
“We are pleased that this strong budget surplus allows us to allocate significant additional resources to benefit Kentuckians, including state employees, retired teachers, postsecondary students and local communities,” said State Budget Director John Chilton. “Commitment to fiscal responsibility and forward-thinking economic policies are setting the commonwealth on a course for sustained financial stability and growth.”
Kentucky’s economy is experiencing record low unemployment, with more people working in the commonwealth than ever before. Since December 2015, more than $20 billion in new investment has been announced throughout the state, with nearly 53,800 new jobs created. As of May 2019, Kentucky exports reached a record high of over $105 billion.
The Office of the State Budget Director will present more detail about the FY19 budget when it reports to the Appropriations and Revenue Committees in August.