Coal and mineral tax collections were down in July compared to the same month last year, the state budget office reported Monday.

According to a statement issued Monday by the Office of State Budget Director John E. Chilton, coal severance tax revenues fell 1.1 percent to $5.1 million in July, the first month of the new fiscal year, as compared to collections made in July 2018. Mineral severance tax revenues also declined by 1.8 percent for same month.

The revelation came as Chilton’s office announced that Kentucky’s General Fund receipts for July saw an overall increase of 1.9 percent as compared to July 2018. Increases in sales and usage taxes and cigarette taxes outpaced declines in income, natural resources and property taxes as the impacts of tax law changes continue to influence monthly receipts, a statement from Chilton’s office said.

According to the statement, all four accounts tabulated by the budget office for natural resources taxes saw declines. In addition to the declines in coal and mineral severance collections, oil production saw a 14.2 percent decline and natural gas severance saw a decline of 29.6 percent, from nearly $865,000 down to nearly $609,000.

According to the budget office, coal severance tax increased in FY19. It’s the first time after six consecutive yearly declines. Revenues were $3.3 million or 3.6 percent above FY18 totals. The office also noted, however, that despite a strong second half of the fiscal year which propelled coal severance tax to exceed the official estimate by $15 million, officials expect a return of declining quarters to prevail in the future.

In the statement issued Monday, Chilton emphasized that economic growth continues in Kentucky, but until full implementation, tax law changes will dominate the flow of monthly receipts.

“Due to the effective dates of the tax law changes and taxpayer responses to the changes, it may be well into the fiscal year until tax policy impacts are more clearly discernible in actual receipts,” Chilton said in the statement.

According to the statement, Road Fund revenues for July totaled $128.2 million, a 0.4 percent increase compared to last July.

The statement said the official Road Fund revenue estimate for FY20 calls for revenue to decline 3.7 percent compared to FY19 actual receipts. Based on the first month’s receipts, the statement said, revenues can fall 4 percent for the rest of the fiscal year and still meet budgeted levels. Like the General Fund, new official Road Fund revenue estimates for the current year and the next two fiscal years will be established in December the statement said.

According to the statement, among the major Road Fund categories, motor fuels tax receipts fell 2.4 percent; motor vehicle usage tax grew 10.7 percent; and license and privilege taxes fell 9.7 percent.

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