By Beth Musgrave
FRANKFORT — State revenues continued to improve in December, according to numbers released Thursday.
Kentucky General Fund revenues for December rose 4.9 percent compared to the previous year, according to figures released by the Office of State Budget Director. Total revenues were $945.8 million compared to $901.4 million the previous December.
Revenues are on track to meet projections for the fiscal year set by the Consensus Forecasting Group, a group of independent economists who predict how much money the state will generate. State leaders use those projections to write the two-year budget.
Revenues only need to grow 1 percent for the remaining six months of the fiscal year to meet the target of 2.4 percent growth for the year. Still, state budget officials Thursday were cautious about Kentucky’s fiscal health, noting that the first six months of the fiscal year had uneven growth.
“We are pleased that the General Fund is on track to achieve the budgeted revenue levels,” said Mary Lassiter, state budget director. “However, sales and use tax receipts, which typically act as a barometer of the underlying economic conditions, continue to perform poorly, having increased only 0.1 percent through the first half of the fiscal year.”
Lassiter noted that December’s tax collections were buoyed by the state’s tax amnesty program, which allowed delinquent tax payers to pay past-due taxes without penalties.
Road Fund revenues also continued to improve. Receipts for the fund, which pays for transportation projects, grew by 6.2 percent from the previous December.