State Budget Director John Hicks reported a modest increase in Road Fund receipts for the recently completed Fiscal Year 2022 while General Fund receipts grew at the highest rate in 31 years.
According to the Office of State Budget Director (OSBD), General Fund receipts totaled $14.7 billion, exceeding the budgeted estimate by $945.4 million. The total is 14.6% higher than FY 2021. The OSBD will determine the final budget surplus once it completes expenditure accounting records later this month.
Road Fund revenues totaled $1.67 billion – 2% more than last year but below the budgeted estimate. Collections showed modest growth for the first three quarters of the fiscal year before turning negative in the final three months of FY 2022.
Motor fuels tax receipts grew by 3.5%. Motor vehicle usage tax collections from the sale of vehicles reached an all-time high of $629.1 million, a 1.3% increase from the previous year. Motor vehicle license receipts fell $1.8 million while motor vehicle operators’ receipts rose $6.4 million.
Road Fund collections for FY 2022 fell below the consensus forecast by $4.7 million, or 0.3%. Hicks reported that the shortfall would not result in spending reductions because the General Assembly did not appropriate all estimated Road Fund revenues.
Governor Andy Beshear released a statement touting the numbers. “These receipts show that personal income, sales, and business income are all going up significantly, and even our Road Fund is up,” he said. “My administration has now delivered the highest and second-highest revenue surpluses in the history of Kentucky thanks to strong fiscal management and a hot, record-breaking economy.”
Tuesday, House Speaker David Osborne (R-Prospect) called the reported budget surplus “no surprise” to those in the legislature. “This is what happens when you commit to sound fiscal policies and responsible tax reforms in order to foster economic growth as we have over the past five years,” Osborne said. “While there are some, including the governor, who seem committed to spending every available taxpayer dollar, the House will continue to pass budgets aimed at meeting today’s needs while planning for the future. Yesterday’s announcement is the result of these efforts to build a stronger Kentucky. In fact, despite the governor’s best efforts to veto the tax modernization package, the next step will come in January 2023 when Kentuckians will keep more of their hard-earned money as they see the first drop in the incremental elimination of the personal income tax.”