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State revenue up 4.5% for first quarter of FY16

General Fund revenues grew by $103.2 million during the first quarter of FY16

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Oct. 12, 2015) — The General Fund has grown 4.5 percent year-to-date (Fiscal Year 2016), State Budget Director Jane Driskell reported today. General Fund receipts rose 2.6 percent in September, compared to last year, and total revenues for the month were $945 million, compared to $920.6 million during September 2014.

“Total General Fund revenues grew by $103.2 million during the first quarter of FY16, a strong reinforcement that the $165.4 million revenue surplus in FY15 will be sustainable,” Driskell said. “For the month of September, individual and corporation income tax collections accounted for $25.4 million in new revenue. Income and sales taxes continue to be the engine of growth for Kentucky’s fiscal economy. While sales tax grew by only 1.0 percent in September, year-to-date growth stands firm at a rate of 6.9 percent. Continued strength in these major taxes will provide a solid revenue platform in the upcoming budget cycle”.

The official General Fund revenue estimate for FY16 calls for revenue to grow 1 percent compared to FY15 actual receipts. Based on September’s results, General Fund revenues need only to remain flat for the remainder of the fiscal year to meet the current official estimate.

Among the major accounts:

  • Individual income taxes increased 4.9 percent as each of the principal components (withholding, net returns, fiduciary and estimated payments) increased. Year-to-date collections are up 6 percent.
  • Sales tax revenues grew 1.0 percent in September and have increased 6.9 percent for the year. Growth in September was somewhat subdued due to the timing of distributions for economic development and tourism.
  • Corporation income tax increased 5.9 percent for the month and has grown 11.5 percent in the first three months of the year.
  • Cigarette taxes rose 2.9 percent and have increased 1.5 percent for the first three months of the fiscal year.
  • Property taxes grew 6.6 percent in September and are up 4.9 percent for the year.
  • Coal severance tax fell 20.9 percent. Receipts year-to-date are down 22.8 percent.
  • Lottery revenues are unchanged from last year at $18.5 million. For the first quarter, collections are up 2.9 percent.

Road Fund receipts fell 20.5 percent in September with revenues of $110 million as a decline in motor fuels receipts continue to impede overall Road Fund growth. Motor fuels collections have declined sharply this fiscal year due to a drop in the tax rate. Motor vehicle usage tax receipts had been artificially high in the first two months of the fiscal year due to timing issues and September saw a reversal of those issues as collections fell 26.3 percent. The official Road Fund revenue estimate calls for a 2.1 percent increase in receipts for the entire fiscal year (FY16). Based on year-to-date collections, revenues must increase 5.8 percent for the remainder of the fiscal year to meet the estimate.

Among the accounts:

  • Motor fuels fell 17.3 percent in September and have declined 16.1 percent for the year.
  • Motor vehicle usage collections decreased 26.3 percent. Year-to-date collections are up 7.5 percent.
  • License and privilege tax receipts fell 23.6 percent in September due to timing issues. For the first three months of the fiscal year, receipts are down 6.5 percent.

The Consensus Forecasting Group will meet Oct. 13 as part of the process of establishing a revised official forecast for the General and Road funds for the next biennium.