By Beth Musgrave
FRANKFORT — State receipts were up slightly in March compared to the previous March but revenues used to fund road projects were down for the first time since November, numbers released Wednesday show.
Revenue collections grew o.4 percent — an increase of $3 million — from March 2012, according to the Office of State Budget Director. Total revenues for March were $735.8 million compared to $732.8 million the previous March.
Despite March’s nearly flat growth, revenues are on track to meet the official revenue estimate used by legislators to enact the two-year budget. Revenues only need to grow by 1.7 percent over the last three months of the state fiscal year to meet the estimate. The fiscal year ends on June 30.
Sales and use taxes — main drivers of Kentucky revenue — have decreased 0.8 percent so far this fiscal year.
“The expiration of the payroll tax cut, coupled with modest wage growth seems have ushered yet another period of cautious spending in Kentucky,” said Jane Driskell, the state budget director.
The Road Fund — which uses money from fuel and other taxes — was down 2.3 percent for March, the first time revenues have declined since November. Overall, road fund receipts have increased 2.6 percent for fiscal year 2013. However, the road fund may face a shortfall in coming months. Revenues must increase 7.4 percent for the remaining three months of the fiscal year to meet the estimate set by revenue forecasters.