By Beth Musgrave
FRANKFORT — State revenues were up in September after two months of anemic growth in the first quarter of the fiscal year.
Numbers released Wednesday by the Office of the State Budget Director show a 5.3 percent increase in General Fund revenue over receipts from September 2011. In total, the state collected $887 million in September, compared with $840 million a year ago.
Road Fund revenues — used to pay for transportation projects — fell for the second consecutive month. The Road Fund dipped 3.9 percent compared to September 2011.
State revenues started the fiscal year with a whimper. Revenues for Jul were down 2.3 percent from the previous year. August revenues increased 2.5 percent.
The upward trend is good news, but officials are monitoring the state’s economic outlook closely. State budget forecasters had predicted 2.4 percent growth for this fiscal year. Legislators used that estimate for the current budget. If revenues fall short of that prediction, the state must look for other money or institute cuts to make up the shortfall.
“General Fund receipts posted modest growth in September despite underlying weakness in many categories of sales and gross receipts taxes, such as the coal severance and sales tax,” said Mary Lassiter, the state budget director.