October tax receipts up 4.6 percent from last year, but still ground to make up in last eight months of fiscal year

11/10/2014 07:43 PM

October’s general fund tax receipts grew 4.6 percent compared to last October, but revenue growth must continue to excel in the fiscal year after a slow first quarter, State Budget Director Jane Driskell said in a news release Monday.

Last month’s growth — $755.7 million compared to $722.5 million in October 2013 — helped push first-quarter tax revenue to 1.9 percent after the fiscal year’s first three months produced 1.1 percent growth. Driskell said tax receipts in the next eight months must increase 4.4 percent to meet revenue estimates of $9.8 million.

“October was clearly a strong month of revenue growth as nominal collections grew $33.2 million, an amount higher than the nominal growth in the entire first quarter of (fiscal year 2015),” Driskell said in a news release. “The main contributions to the healthy growth in October were the individual income tax and sales taxes, which grew 4.8 percent and 6.3 percent respectively while corporate and property receipts continue to underperform.”

Individual income taxes grew 4.8 percent in October and 5.2 percent in the first four months of fiscal year 2015, but corporate income taxes declined 0.3 percent, continuing a trend as receipts fell 24.1 percent in the first four months of the fiscal year. Sales taxes increased 6.3 percent last month and have risen 4.1 percent thus far in the fiscal year.

Movements in other major general fund accounts include:

>Property taxes, up 41.1 percent in October but down 5.5 percent in the first four months of the fiscal year.

>Cigarette taxes, up 11.5 percent in October and 0.2 percent in the first four months of the fiscal year.

>Coal severance taxes, down 5.8 percent in October and down 5.2 percent in the first four months of the fiscal year.

>Lottery revenues, down 3.3 percent in October but up 4.2 percent in the first four months of the fiscal year.

The state’s road fund receipts fell 0.3 percent in October compared to last year, Driskell said in the release. The fund can decline 2 percent for the rest of the fiscal year and meet budget estimates of $1.5 million, she said.

“Road Fund collections continue to be weak, as we anticipated,” Driskell said in the release. “Growth in motor fuels tax collections is limited by a decline in demand. Motor vehicle usage tax receipts have been hampered by the impact of recent legislation which provides for a new car trade-in. It is anticipated that the credit will reduce collections by $34 million in the current fiscal year.”

Motor vehicle usage taxes have decreased 4.3 percent in October and 1.4 percent in the first four months of the fiscal year, and motor fuels taxes have grown 0.8 percent in October and 1.4 percent in the first four months of the fiscal year.

Kevin Wheatley

Kevin Wheatley is a reporter for Pure Politics. He joined cn|2 in September 2014 after five years at The State Journal in Frankfort, where he covered Kentucky government and politics. You can reach him at kevin.wheatley@charter.com or 502-792-1135 and follow him on Twitter at @KWheatley_cn2.

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