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State revenue drops in October for General Fund and Road Fund

November 12, 2013 | | Comments 0

By Jack Brammer
jbrammer@herald-leader.com

FRANKFORT – Revenue for the state’s General Fund, which pays for most state programs, dipped slightly in October while receipts for the Road Fund showed a bigger drop.

State budget director Jane Driskell said Tuesday that October’s General Fund receipts fell 0.4 percent compared to October 2012 collections.

Total revenues for the month were $772.5 million, compared to $725.5 million last October.

Receipts have increased 2.4 percent for the first four months of this fiscal year, which began July 1. They need to grow 1.6 percent over the final eight months of fiscal year 2014 to realize the official revenue estimate for the year of $9.52 billion.

Driskell said major revenue accounts continue to perform well, especially the sales and use tax. It increased at a 5.3 percent pace in October and has grown 3 percent through the first four months of this fiscal year.

“Despite the small decline in aggregate General Fund revenues in October, the major accounts performed well and revenues are slightly ahead of pace to meet the budgeted total,” Driskell said.

A decline in property tax receipts, she said, obscured a solid month of collections. They fell 46.7 percent and are down 25.6 percent for the year.

Property tax receipts always are volatile in the fall as a large percentage of total annual receipts are concentrated in a short collection period, she said.

“The bulk of all property tax receipts accrue between November and January, so we expect these accounts to rebound,” Driskell said.

Coal severance tax receipts increased 5.4 percent in October but are down 15.5 percent for the year. October marked the second time they have increased in the last 20 months.

Road Fund receipts for October at $127.2 million marked a 6.4 decrease from October 2012 levels. They have grown 6.1 percent for the year, and must increase 4.6 percent to meet the official yearly estimate of $1.57 billion.

Driskell said motor vehicle usage tax receipts increased 31.3 percent in September because of an additional week of collections.

“Our expectation was to see a correction in October,” she said, adding that Road Fund performance has been solid for the year, but growth in the second half of this fiscal year “will prove more challenging as the tax rate on motor fuels will be adjusted downward by 1.5 cents per gallon beginning in January.”

Filed Under: State Budget

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