FRANKFORT, Ky. (KT) – State revenue topped predictions, resulting in surpluses in both the General Fund and Road Fund, for the fiscal year that ended June 30.
According to data released Thursday by the Office of the State Budget Director, Kentucky’s General Fund revenues exceeded estimates by $194.5 million, and Road Fund revenues surpassed estimates by $59.5 million. The report also noted that total General Fund revenues hit an all-time high for Kentucky, exceeding FY18 revenues by more than $550 million.
“This is the kind of positive, incremental growth that will sustain the commonwealth and allow us to continue providing vital public services, while meeting our obligations to state employees by fully funding our pension systems,” said Gov. Matt Bevin. “I am grateful for the partnership with our House and Senate leadership, as we work together to continue growing our economy and strengthening Kentucky’s financial foundation. We are just getting started.”
The year-end revenue report from the State Budget Office attributes the state’s revenue growth to statewide economic development efforts and tax reform policies that broadened the tax base, lowered the top income tax rates, and modernized the tax rate structure.
“This tremendous news is a direct result of the good fiscal management by the Governor’s office and smart legislative decisions implemented by the Republican majority over the past three years,” said Senate President Robert Stivers, R-Manchester. “Coupled with a booming economy, this revenue surplus is undeniable evidence that the future of Kentucky continues to move in the right direction.”
House Speaker David Osborne, R-Prospect, said: “This surplus is evidence that the policies we adopted are paying off for the Commonwealth. We have lowered personal income taxes, broadened the tax base, and as a result we are seeing positive results in both revenue growth, job creation, and economic investments. It is equally telling that the surplus is already committed to paying off our obligations in order to keep our state on the path to prosperity.”
The biennial budget bill established that excess general fund revenues will be used to pay necessary government expenditures and provide additional funding to the Retired Teacher’s Health Insurance Plan and the Kentucky pension system.
Excess lottery receipts will be fully allocated to education, including the College Access Program and the Kentucky Tuition Grant Program. In addition, excess coal severance receipts will be transferred to the Local Government Economic Assistance Fund.