FRANKFORT, Ky. (KT) – Kentucky’s General Fund and Road Fund both continued to see large year-over-year increases in May as the state recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic that grounded the economy to a halt last year.
According to figures released by the Office of the State Budget Director on Thursday, May’s General Fund receipts rose 56.7% compared to May of last year. Total revenues were $1,223.7 million, compared to $781.0 million a year ago, during the midst of the short-lived but pronounced pandemic-related recession.
All the major tax categories had increases with sales and income taxes having the largest increases.
State Budget Director John Hicks noted, “Three of the five highest months of sales tax collections in Kentucky’s history have been January, April and May of 2021. Sales tax receipts are up 11.5 percent year-to-date.”
He also stated, “The May growth rate for sales tax receipts of 33.9 percent is misleading since May 2020 occurred during the recession. Individual income tax growth rates are similarly affected since tax year 2019 returns had a July 15, 2020 deadline and the recent tax year 2020 returns had a May 17, 2021 deadline, so timing makes them difficult to compare."
The official budget estimate called for revenues to grow 1.2 percent for the entire fiscal year. However, receipts have now grown 14.3 percent for the first eleven months of FY21. General Fund receipts stand at $11,610.6 million through May while the official enacted estimate was $11,704.0 million for the entire FY21, so the state only needs another $94 million to reach the estimate.
Road Fund receipts increased 55.4 percent in May 2021 with collections of $148.9 million, the second-highest month ever and second only to April 2021 receipts. May receipts were $53.1 million more than last May, resulting in large part from suppressed collections in May 2020 due to the pandemic. Year-to-date collections have increased 9.0 percent.
The official Road Fund revenue estimate called for a 5.8 percent increase in revenues this fiscal year.