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Kentucky Revenues Exceed Estimates By $166 Million

From Stu Johnson, Kentucky Public Radio

State officials hope higher than expected tax receipts translate into more jobs across Kentucky. The end of the fiscal year report shows general fund tax receipts came in $6.5-percent higher than anticipated.

State Budget Director Mary Lassiter says receipts exceeded estimates by $166 million.

She says the numbers signal a positive trend for the business sector.

“When they get to the point that they’re back in the black, then they are willing to make investments in their futures and that means hiring people,” she said.

There were increases in tax receipts in many categories, but not all. Receipts fell below the projections in areas like cigarette taxes, property taxes, and the state lottery.

Governor Steve Beshear says more than $100 million of the excess revenues will go into the state’s rainy day fund.

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Kentucky Revenue Growth Continues

Another month of strong tax collections is a good sign for Kentucky, as the state continues digging its way out of the recession.

State revenue collections last month were $844 million, compared to $788 million in December 2009. That’s an increase of more than seven percent. In the first six months of the fiscal year, state revenue receipts have risen 5.4 percent. The enacted budget calls for a growth rate of 4.2 percent.

Sales and use tax receipts, individual income, and property tax collections rose last month, but corporate income, cigarette tax and coal severance tax receipts were down.

Road Fund receipts last month were almost 12 percent higher than December 2009 levels and remain well ahead of budget projections.

State Budget Director Mary Lassiter is encouraged by the revenue numbers, but expects growth in the remainder of the fiscal year, which ends June 30th, to be “tempered.”

Local News

Budget Director Briefs Lawmakers On State's Fiscal Health

State Budget Director Mary Lassiter is cautiously optimistic about Kentucky’s economic outlook.  She told lawmakers in Frankfort revenue and road fund receipts are up, and unemployment is slightly down. 

But Lassiter says even if the state meets fairly optimistic, predicted, growth rates for the biennium, it still will be digging itself out of a hole.

“Even with the growth we’re going to receive, it causes us to still be in a mode of retrenchment.  And that was reflected in the enacted budget, where the budget includes reductions both in the first year and additional amounts in the second year of the biennium,” she said.

But Lassiter says Kentucky is faring better than many other states, which are carrying IOU’s, ordering mass layoffs and furloughs, and making deep cuts in education.

Local News

Kentucky Tax Revenues Continue Slide

State officials say Kentucky’s October’s General Fund receipts dropped four percent from the previous year, raising the likelihood of more budget cuts in the near future.

Revenues from corporate and individual income tax collections both fell in October as did receipts from use and sales taxes.

There was also a 3.2 percent hike in lottery revenues and a recent increase in the state cigarette tax caused a 53 percent jump in October revenues from 2008.