State general fund, road receipts headed opposite directions

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – The state’s General Fund receipts fell 3.8 percent in November compared to last year with much of the decline related to property tax revenues.

But for the first five months of the budget year, revenues remain ahead of budget estimates.

According to state Budget Director John Hicks, total revenues for the month were $1,006.5 million compared to $1,046.1 million during November 2019, a decrease of $39.6 million, primarily due to a $34.8 million decline in property tax receipts.

Receipts have now risen 3.1 percent for the first five months of the fiscal year, and must increase 0.3 percent over the final seven months of FY21 to meet the recently adopted official revenue estimate of $11,729.0 million, Hicks explained.

Hicks noted the drop in property taxes this month was primarily due to timing issues with the real property account. November is typically the first of three consecutive months when 93 percent of the year’s real property taxes are received

Those receipts in the next two months are expected to recover. Adjusting for the timing difference with the property taxes, the rest of the General Fund revenues were essentially flat for the month.

Sales and use taxes continued steady growth of 3.9 percent. The individual income withholding receipts fell 1.2 percent, the first monthly decline since April.

Corporation taxes and the Limited Liability Entity Tax fell a combined $9.2 million. The state Consensus Forecasting Group met on December 4 and revised the revenue estimates for FY21 and FY22.

Among the major accounts:

  • Individual income tax collections fell 0.8 percent in November as declines in estimated payments and withholding slightly offset a small gain in net returns. Through the first five months of FY21, receipts in this tax have increased 3.5 percent. The withholding component of the individual income tax fell 1.2 percent during November.
  • Sales and use tax receipts increased 3.9 percent in November, which ties August for the lowest monthly growth in the sales tax this fiscal year. Year-to-date growth in this account is now 6.3 percent.
  • Corporation income and LLET tax receipts fell 33.6 percent to $18.2 million in November. Receipts year-to-date have declined 4.9 percent.
  • Property tax collections declined 18.0 percent for the month and have fallen 4.3 percent year-to-date. Novembers sharp decline is a result of seasonal timing patterns that are expected to move favorably in the next two months.
  • Cigarette tax receipts rose 3.0 percent in November but are down 2.1 percent for the first five months of the fiscal year.
  • Coal severance tax receipts spiked 102.4 percent to $7.3 million in November but are down 8.6 percent year-to-date.
  • Lottery revenues grew 2.3 percent in November with a monthly dividend payment of $22.0 million.

Road Fund receipts for November totaled $127.9 million, a 3.3 percent increase from November 2019 levels. Year-to-date Road Fund receipts have increased 1.7 percent. Based on collections through the first five months, Road Fund receipts must grow 9.0 percent over the balance of the fiscal year to meet the newly revised official FY21 estimate of $1,577.7 million.

Motor fuels tax receipts fell 3.6 percent in November and have decreased 4.5 percent for the year. Motor vehicle usage tax collections rose 11.4 percent in November and have grown 11.8 percent through the first five months of the fiscal year. License and privilege receipts grew 6.9 percent for the month and have risen 1.2 percent for the year.

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