Home » March General Fund receipts down 11.4% over same month last year

March General Fund receipts down 11.4% over same month last year

Decrease of $99.2 million

FRANKFORT, Ky. (April 10, 2017) — The Office of State Budget Director reported today that March’s General Fund receipts fell 11.4 percent compared to March of last year, a decrease of $99.2 million. Total revenues for the month were $770.9 million, compared to $870.1 million during March 2016. Receipts have now grown 1.2 percent for the first nine months of FY17.

For the quarter, total General Fund collections declined 3.2 percent, thus marking the first quarterly decline since the second quarter of FY14. Growth rates for the three quarters of FY17 have been 3.4, 3.3 and -3.2 percent.

The official revenue estimate calls for 2.7 percent revenue growth for the fiscal year. To meet the estimate, receipts must grow 6.6 percent over the last three months of FY17.

“Net of refunds, corporation income tax receipts declined by $67.4 million compared to last year, while individual income tax revenue, net of refunds, fell $44.7 million in the month of March,” said John Chilton, state budget director. “We believe that the decline involves issues of administrative timing and that seems to be the case in March.”

“On the corporate side, the due date for federal corporate tax returns was permanently changed from March 15 until April 15, so we expect April receipts to include payments that in the past that would have been made in March,” he said. “The quarterly decline of 3.2 percent means that General Fund collections need to grow 6.6 percent in the final quarter of the year to reach the official forecast. Fourth quarter collections last year grew only 0.6 percent which leaves open the possibility of strong growth for the final three months of FY17 to end the fiscal year somewhere near, yet likely below, the official estimate.”

Among the major accounts:

  • Sales and use tax receipts decreased 1.1 percent for the month but have grown 0.6 percent year-to-date. Receipts have now fallen in five of the last six months.
  • Corporation income tax receipts fell 89.3 percent as both declarations and net returns declined.  For the year, collections have decreased 6.7 percent.
  • Individual income tax collections declined 15.0 percent in March as withholding, net return and fiduciary fell while declarations posted a small gain. In addition, last year the Department of Revenue delayed refunds so that they could more closely screen returns for fraudulent claims. This year, refunds have not be delayed. Collections have grown 2.4 percent through the first nine months of FY17.
  • Property tax collections fell 1.9 percent for the month but have grown 2.8 percent year-to-date.
  • Cigarette tax receipts increased 8.3 percent but have declined 2.2 percent year-to-date.
  • Coal severance tax collections continue to rebound from their historic low, increasing for the third consecutive month. Collections rose 8.2 percent in March but have decreased 20.7 percent through the first nine months of the fiscal year.

Road Fund receipts grew 3.2 percent in March 2017 with collections of $130.7 million, $4.1 million more than last March. Through the first nine months of FY17, receipts have increased 1.8 percent. For the third quarter, total Road Fund collections rose 5.4 percent. Growth rates for the three quarters this fiscal year are 3.6, -3.6 and 5.4 percent.

The official Road Fund revenue estimate calls for revenues to decline 1.7 percent for the fiscal year. Based on year-to-date tax collections, revenues can fall 11.8 percent for the remainder of FY17 and still meet the estimate. Among the accounts, motor fuels fell 1.4 percent, motor vehicle usage revenue increased 7.2 percent, and license and privilege receipts grew 3.2 percent.