A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

General fund, road receipts report for January; general fund up 8.2 %, road fund down 1.9 %

The Office of State Budget Director reported that January’s General Fund receipts grew 8.2 percent compared to January of last year, an increase of $72.2 million. Total revenues for the month were $956.8 million, compared to $884.6 million during January 2017. Receipts have now grown 3.8 percent for the first seven months of Fiscal Year 2018 (FY18).

The official FY18 revenue estimate calls for 2.3 percent growth in revenues and requires 0.2 percent growth for the last five months of the fiscal year to meet the official estimate. 

State Budget Director John Chilton cautioned against drawing conclusions about the remainder of the fiscal year based on the last two months of strong growth.

John Chilton

“December and January saw a significant increase in individual income tax estimated payments and it is our belief that this is in response to recently enacted Federal tax legislation,” Chilton said.  “To the extent that this is the case, January’s increase in receipts may simply be an acceleration of income tax payments rather than an actual increase in FY18 revenue. Despite this acceleration in receipts, most revenue sources remain on track to meet the official revenue estimates.”      

Among the major accounts:

• Individual income tax withholding
collections grew 4.1 percent for the month and are up 3.6 percent through the first seven months of FY18.  As indicated above, estimated tax payments were up 35.9 percent, mostly in early January.  The acceleration of estimated tax payments seems to be responsive to changes in the Federal tax rules that eliminate the deductibility of states income taxes in 2018.

• Sales and use tax receipts increased 3.8 percent for the month and are up 2.9 percent year-to-date.  However, January’s growth was attributable to one-time refund in FY17 that lowered the base of comparison for FY18.  Eliminating the effect of the refund, receipts were down 0.5 percent for the month and 2.2 percent year-to-date.  The official estimate predicts growth of 3.6 percent for the full fiscal year.

• Corporation income tax receipts
rose $4.0 million for the month and have increased 2.7 percent in the first seven months of the fiscal year.
• Property tax collections declined 3.5 percent in January but have increased 3.9 percent year-to-date.

• Cigarette tax receipts decreased 3.3 percent for the month and have fallen 4.8 percent year-to-date.

• Coal severance tax receipts fell 16.2 percent in January.  Collections are down 8.2 percent through the first seven months of the fiscal year.

Road Fund receipts decreased 1.9 percent in January to $123.3 million.  Year-to-date collections have fallen 0.6 percent. Collections for the month were aided by an increase in motor fuels collections but offset by a decline in motor vehicle usage tax receipts.  The official Road Fund revenue estimate calls for revenues to decline 0.3 percent for the fiscal year. Based on year-to-date tax collections, revenues must grow 0.1 percent for the remainder of the fiscal year to hit the official forecast. 

Among the Road Fund accounts, motor fuels collections rose 4.6 percent. Motor vehicle usage revenue fell 7.7 percent, and license and privilege receipts declined 8.1 percent.

Office of State Budget Director

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