General Fund receipts drop 4.1%, Road Fund up 4.2% in December 2019

FRANKFORT, Ky. — The Office of State Budget Director reported today that December’s General Fund receipts totaled $1,084.3 million, a 4.1% decline compared to December of last year. Receipts have increased 2.7% for the first six months of the fiscal year that ends June 30, 2020. Second quarter collections rose 4.1%, which is an improvement over first quarter collections, which rose 1.1%.

The official fiscal year 2020 General Fund revenue forecast, which was revised by the Consensus Forecasting Group on Dec. 17, 2019, calls for a 1.6% revenue growth.  Revenues would need to grow 0.6% for the last six months of the fiscal year to meet the estimate.

State Budget Director John Hicks noted that the decline in General Fund receipts was impacted by the timing of the receipt of individual income withholding collections.

“The individual income tax fell 9.4% in December after strong gains of 14.1% in November. This month-to-month volatility is typical for the holiday period due to the way calendars fall and tax collections post. Another factor that tamped down December collections was a multi-year refund disbursement of $21.7 million from the corporate income tax account. On a positive note, we expect to see a bump in January sales tax collections because many of the busiest shopping days of the year fell in early December, which means the tax revenue will show up in January collections. Overall, we will have a much more complete picture of the three-month holiday season after January receipts have posted and timing issues have worked its way through.”

Among the major accounts:

  • Sales and use tax receipts rose 2.6% in December and have increased 6.3% for the year.
  • Corporation income tax receipts fell 36.8% for the month due to the large refund and declarations and net returns were lower. Corporation income tax receipts are down 16.5% for the year. The limited liability entity receipts are up 26.2% for the year.
  • Individual income tax collections declined 9.4% in December due primarily to a 10.4% decline in withholding. Year-to-date collections in this account have increased 2.0%.
  • Property tax collections fell 4.5% but are up 0.3% for the year.
  • Cigarette tax receipts increased 22.0% in December. For the first six months of the year collections have increased 1.5%.
  • Coal severance tax receipts decreased 5.0% in December but have fallen 18.6% for the year.

Road Fund receipts for December totaled $122.0 million, a 4.2% increase from December 2018 levels.  Year-to-date receipts have increased 1.1%. Collections in this fund have been consistent through the first half of the fiscal year, having increased 1.1% in both the first and second quarters. The official Road Fund revenue estimate calls for a 0.4% increase for the fiscal year. Revenues can decline 0.2% over the remainder of the fiscal year and still meet the fiscal year 2020 estimate.

Among the accounts, motor fuels receipts grew 1.2% in December, and are up 0.7% for the first six months. Motor vehicle usage revenue rose 10.7% in December and has increased 4.9% year-to-date. License and privilege receipts increased 2.5% for the month but are down 6.9% for the year.

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