General Fund finishes July up from last year, but lagging behind estimates

08/11/2014 03:27 PM

The state’s General Fund receipts are up 2.2 percent from last July, but official estimates predicted more growth which is raising the expectations and eyebrows for the rest of the fiscal year.

The General Fund collected nearly $706 million in July which was a 2.2 percent increase from last July, but budget estimates in 2015 were relying on growth of 3.6 percent. The rest of the fiscal year will now need to increase 3.7 percent in each month of the year to hit target growth.

Gov. Steve Beshear’s budget director, Jane Driskell, said the initial 2.2 percent increase is “positive” and she sees momentum in the numbers.

“General Fund growth of 2.2 percent in July is a positive sign—especially since our two largest taxes (individual income and sales tax) grew at robust levels of 5.9 percent and 7.6 percent, respectively. Our expectations are that the underlying economic momentum continues to build,” Driskell said.

Among the areas falling in the first month of the fiscal year was beer consumption sales which fell 7.9 percent from last July, however distilled spirit sales and consumption increase in the report. The pari-mutuel tax also fell year-to-year by 46 percent.

Corporate taxes also took a 46 percent decline in the report, which was attributed to a large one-time payment received in July 2013.

The state’s road fund finished above expectations with 5.1 percent growth year-to-year, even though experts predicted a 0.9 percent decrease.

“Based on the first month’s receipts, revenues can fall 1.4 percent for the rest of the fiscal year and still meet budgeted levels,” the report said.


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