Higher than expected general fund receipts could mean big boost to rainy day fund; road receipts also up

07/12/2011 03:46 PM

Kentucky could have a state budget surplus for the first time in several years, said State Budget Director Mary Lassiter.

“The enacted budget directs that the General Fund surplus can only be used to pay necessary government expenses and make deposits to the Budget Reserve Trust Fund. We could be looking at putting over $100 million into our rainy day fund, a very positive sign of the improving fiscal condition of the Commonwealth,” Lassiter said in a statement.

Governor Steve Beshear was pleased with the financial report as well.

“While the economic picture remains challenging for our families and our businesses, we are continuing to see clear signs of economic recovery,” Beshear said. “This kind of growth in business taxes means firms are returning to profitability – and hopefully more of them will soon begin reinvesting in new jobs.”

Lassiter told reporters in Frankfort that General Fund receipts rose for the first time in three years and posted the highest growth rate since Fiscal Year 2006.

For the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2011, Lassiter said General Fund receipts totaled $8.76 billion, or 6.5 percent higher than the 2010 fiscal year. Fiscal year 2011 receipts were noted to be higher than totals taken in during the 2008 fiscal year, which Lassiter said was before the recession. Fiscal year 2008 receipts were $8.66 billion.

Kentucky’s Road Fund was up double-digit percentage points over last year as well.

Road Fund revenues for fiscal year ’11 were $1.34 billion, up 11 percent from the
previous fiscal year. Total receipts rose $132.2 million from fiscal year ’10.

Lassiter said Road Fund receipts have now grown for two straight fiscal years, with six consecutive quarters of growth.

“No matter what the revenue reports may say, though, I remain committed to steady and measured budgeting that maintains critical services for our citizens,” Beshear said. “I have rebalanced the budget nine times, cutting more than $1 billion while protecting our highest priorities – education, public safety and job creation. While I am pleased with the revenue report, we still have work to do to help our families weather the lingering effects of the economic downturn. Attracting and maintaining jobs remains my top priority.”


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