Projected Revenue Shortfall On Bevin's Radar, But He's Not Worried

May 11, 2017

Governor Matt Bevin is tamping down fears about the potential impact of a projected $113 million shortfall in state revenue.

Credit Associated Press

In his most recent quarterly economic and revenue report, state budget director John Chilton warned that Kentucky could run $113 million short of expectations – thanks in part to anemic job growth and declines in income and sale tax collections.

But Bevin says those numbers are fluid and no one knows exactly where the ledger will stand at the end of the fiscal year.

"At the end of March, we thought it was as much as $113 million dollars short. At the end of April, we realized it appears that it will be smaller than that. And who knows that it will really be by the time we get to the end of June," the governor told WUKY.

The report had some in state government anxious about additional cuts to agencies, but the governor says his team is monitoring the numbers and he sees no cause for alarm yet.

"We're looking at it. I don't worry about it. We will do what is necessary to ensure that the budget is balanced, but we have it well in hand," Bevin said. "Frankly, it's not going to be nearly the concern that I think people are worried about it possibly being right now."

An Associated Press report this week signaled that modest growth in Kentucky's April tax collections weren't likely to stop the predicted shortfall.

According to state officials, tax collections inched up by 1.7 percent last month, as compared to the same time last year, but the report indicated collections would need to grow by nearly 10 percent over the remaining two months to make up the difference.

If the governor is forced to take action to balance the budget, he can opt to trim state spending or tap the Kentucky's rainy-day fund.