KENTUCKY (WEHT) – Kentucky’s economic momentum continues as Governor Andy Beshear has announced that Kentucky’s fiscal year 2022 General Fund receipts grew at the highest rate in 31 years.

“One of my most important jobs as Governor is to ensure the financial strength and solvency of our great commonwealth – essentially to make sure our financial house is in order,” Gov. Beshear said. “These receipts show that personal income, sales and business income are all going up significantly, and even our road fund is up. My administration has now delivered the highest and second-highest revenue surpluses in the history of Kentucky, thanks to strong fiscal management and a hot, record-breaking economy.”

Gov. Beshear also noted that the state’s Rainy Day fund is expected to reach almost $2.7 billion. When Gov. Beshear took office, that fund was at $129 million. “We’re seeing more jobs and better wages for Kentuckians, which allow more people to put food on the table and live the lives they want and deserve,” Gov. Beshear said.

The Office of State Budget Director’s report can be read here.

Recent Economic Momentum

A press release says in 2021, Kentucky shattered every economic development record in the books. Private-sector new-location and expansion announcements included a record $11.2 billion in total planned investment and commitments to create a record 18,000-plus full-time jobs across the coming years. Kentucky’s average incentivized hourly wage for projects statewide in 2021 was $24 before benefits, a 9.4% increase over the previous year.

The Governor’s Office says this economic momentum has carried over into 2022, with both S&P Global Ratings and Fitch Ratings upgrading Kentucky’s financial outlook from stable to positive due to Kentucky’s surging economy. In April, the state reported a 3.9% unemployment rate, which was the lowest rate ever recorded. In May, the rate fell to a new record low of 3.8%.

Relief to Help Families Save

The press release says to help families Gov. Beshear has:

  • Issued an executive order declaring a state of emergency and activating the state’s price gouging laws to protect families from overpriced gasoline and motor fuels.
  • Issued an executive order to freeze vehicle taxes for two years at the January 2021 assessed value due to the pandemic-related rise in used car values, saving Kentuckians approximately $340 million in property tax reductions.
  • Stopped a 2-cents-per-gallon hike in the state’s gas tax that would have taken effect on July 1 and that would have resulted in a price hike on both regular and diesel fuel.
  • Issued an executive order declaring a state of emergency over the baby formula shortage.

The Governor’s Office says Gov. Beshear also supported legislation to cut the state sales tax from 6% to 5% temporarily, which would have saved Kentuckians $873 million in relief directly related to sales tax savings if the General Assembly had passed the measure.

The press release says Gov. Beshear joined other governors to send a letter to Congress asking them to pass federal legislation to suspend the federal gas tax until the end of the year. And Gov. Beshear recently sent letters to the top administrators at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency requesting they grant a waiver removing a requirement that more costly, “reformulated” fuel be sold in many urban areas and asking for a waiver that would allow cheaper butane to be used as an additive blend for gasoline.

Gov. Beshear continues to outline five assistance programs that Kentuckians should research to see if they could financially benefit their families.