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Ky. reports decline in General Fund revenue

Roger Alford, Associated Press

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) -- Kentucky faced huge declines in revenue from key tax sources in April despite a rebounding national economy, the state's top budget official said Friday.

State Budget Director Jane Driskell released a monthly revenue report showing that corporate income tax revenue fell by nearly 90 percent in April compared to April 2012 levels.

The report showed property tax collections down by 53.5 percent. Cigarette tax revenue was down 22.2 percent. And collections from the all-important sales tax were off 7.3 percent.

The two bright spots in the monthly report were a 5.5 percent increase in income tax revenue and an 18.6 percent rise in coal severance tax collections.

"Continued weakness in the sales tax is particularly conspicuous since the national economy is improving and consumer confidence is growing," Driskell said.

To meet budgeted revenue, General Fund revenue needs to grow 3.6 percent over the final two months of the fiscal year, which ends on June 30. If that doesn't happen, Gov. Steve Beshear may have to adjust the budget, which had become commonplace after the last recession.

Beshear has had to cut about $1.6 billion from the state budget since he took office in 2007.

The latest financial report showed total General Fund revenues for April at $821.4 million. That was down $16.5 million from April 2012.

Road Fund collections reached $143.1 million in April, an 18.3 percent over the April 2012 level.