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Kentucky closed fiscal year with significant budget surplus

Posted at 12:03 PM, Jul 15, 2019

(LEX 18) — Governor Matt Bevin announced Thursday that Kentucky closed the 2019 fiscal year with record high state revenues, which has created a significant budget surplus for the state.

According to data from the Office of the State Budget Director, Kentucky's General Fund exceeded estimates by $194.5 million. Road Fund revenues surpassed the estimates by $59.5 million.

The report also showed that the total General Fund revenues hit an all-time high for Kentucky. The General Fund exceeded the 2018 General Fund by more than $550 million.

"Our strong finish this fiscal year shows that Kentucky's forward-thinking economic policies are working for Kentuckians," said Bevin.

The State Budget Office said the state's revenue growth is related to the statewide economic development efforts and tax reform policies. These broadened the tax base, lowered the top income tax rates and modernized the tax rate structure, according to the press release.

"Coupled with a booming economy, this revenue surplus is undeniable evidence that the future of Kentucky continues to move in the right direction," said Senate President Robert Stivers.

According to the press release, since December 2015, $19.8 billion in new investment has been announced throughout Kentucky. There have also been over 52,000 new jobs created.

As of March 2019, Kentucky exports reached over $99 billion, which is a record high, according to the press release.

"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," said House Speaker David Osborne.

According to the press release, the biennial budget bill has established how General Fund revenues will be used and provides additional funds from the 2019 fiscal year that will be used to pay necessary government expenditures. This will also provide additional funding to the Retired Teacher's Health Insurance Plan and the Kentucky pension program.

Excess lottery receipts will be allocated to education, which includes the College Access Program and the Kentucky Tuition Grant Program. Excess coal severance receipts will be transferred into the Local Government Economic Assistance Fund, according to the press release.