FRANKFORT, Ky. (KT) – Both the General Fund and Road Fund saw sizeable increases in receipts in November, compared to a year ago, according to a report issued Monday.
State Budget Director John Chilton said General Fund receipts rose 7.1 percent last month with revenues of $972.6 million. That’s compared to the $907.8 million collected in November 2017.
Through the five months of the fiscal year, the general fund has grown 4.8 percent. The official General Fund revenue estimate for FY19 calls for revenue to grow 3.3 percent compared to FY18 actual receipts, so based on November’s results, General Fund revenues must increase 2.3 percent for the remainder of the fiscal year to meet the official estimate.
Chilton said November General Fund collections continue to follow the pattern predicted by the tax reform of 2018 but at a slightly more robust pace.
“Sales and gross receipts taxes grew by 17.3 percent in November, the largest such increase since August 2018,” Chilton said. “The gains in these consumption taxes were primarily attributable to a 104.1 percent increase in cigarette taxes and a 13.3 percent spike in the sales and use tax.”
The cigarette tax was increased 50 cents per pack by tax legislation passed during the 2018 General Assembly, while personal and corporate income tax rates were lowered.
“The income taxes have fallen predictably due to the rate reductions in the 2018 tax legislation,” Chilton said. “November receipts were no exception, showing a 0.5 percent decline in combined income-based taxation. Taken in the aggregate, November’s General Fund increase of 7.1 percent provides a slight buffer against an anticipated slowdown in receipts in the upcoming fiscal quarters.”
Road Fund receipts, meanwhile, grew 7.4 percent in November with collections of $133.2 million. Year-to-date collections have grown 4.5 percent compared to last year’s total. Despite declines in Road Fund revenue in FY15 and FY16, followed by anemic growth in FY17 and FY18, receipts have now risen in seven of the past nine months. The official Road Fund revenue estimate calls for a 0.3 percent decrease in receipts for the entire fiscal year, so based on year-to-date collections, revenues can fall 3.7 percent for the remainder of the fiscal year to meet that estimate.
Among the Road Fund accounts, motor fuels, motor vehicle usage collections, license and privilege taxes all rose. The only exception was non-tax receipts. Those fell 19 percent in November but are still up nearly 29 percent for the fiscal year, which began July 1.