Kentucky collected record sales tax revenues in April

Published 5:45 am Saturday, May 8, 2021

Kentucky collected record amounts of sales tax revenues in April, reflecting growing consumer spending in another sign of economic recovery from the coronavirus, Gov. Andy Beshear said.

Sales tax receipts from last month reached $486.5 million, not only the state’s best-ever total for an April but an all-time monthly high, the governor said Thursday in citing preliminary figures.

The record-breaking collections were spurred in part by the latest round of federal stimulus checks and pent up spending after wintry weather in February, according to state budget officials.

Beshear pointed to sales tax collections as “a direct indicator” of economic activity.

The April amount was more than 40% higher than the state’s sales tax receipts collected in April 2020, when the economy was reeling from the pandemic.

The governor pointed to the latest sales tax numbers as another indication that Kentucky’s economy is surging as more people get the COVID-19 vaccine.

“Our economy is heating up,” Beshear said Friday. “We are doing it right — safely and sustainably. … We are picking up economic momentum while putting the health and safety of our people first.”

It was a response to some prominent Kentucky Republicans who have tried to ramp up pressure on the Democratic governor to set a date for fully reopening the state.

Earlier this week, a credit rating agency upgraded its assessment of Kentucky’s financial outlook. The state is predicting a massive General Fund surplus when the current fiscal year ends.