State budget short nearly $91 million, officials uncertain of what cuts will come

07/10/2014 07:49 PM

The state’s General Fund is facing a $90.9 million shortfall, receipts for the fiscal year finished up, but revenues fell from previous estimates.

The shortfall represents a one-percent decrease from official revenue predictions of a 2.2 percent increase in the fiscal year, which ended on June 30.

Gov. Steve Beshear’s budget director, Jane Driskell, said her office has closed the books on how much money came in for the fiscal year, but they’re sill tallying the expenditures. That process should take around thirty days to analyze.

“The determination for how to deal with the revenue shortfall has been underway and will be complete soon,” Driskell said in a statement.

While Driskell said she’s not sure just how the state will make up the difference, Gov. Steve Beshear told reporters last month that education programs will be held harmless in any cuts that take place.

The shortfall represents the 14th time Beshear will have to re-balance the state budget. And his budget director used the shortfall as an example of why the state’s tax structure needs to change.

“These rates of growth are below what the underlying economic data reflect – an example of the Governor’s admonition that the tax code in Kentucky needs to be more elastic,” Driskell said.

Kentucky generally sees robust business tax revenue in June, but this year’s numbers fell in part to tax amnesty and compliance programs which inflated the 2013 fiscal numbers.

The State Road Fund also fell short $22.2 million in the fiscal year. Motor fuels and motor vehicle usage taxes, revenue collections were short by $19.9 million of their estimated revenue. As with the General Fund, the the state is already working on how to plug the holes in the budget.


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