LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Kentucky’s tax hike on smokers made for a healthy boost to the state coffers in July, state budget director John Chilton said Friday.

Kentucky took in $830 million in general fund taxes and fees last month, a $37 million increase from July 2017.

Most of the increase -- $23 million – was attributed to Kentucky's per-pack cigarette tax rising to $1.10 as of July 1, up from $0.60, and a new inventory tax that retailers paid on their cigarette packs in stock as of June 30.

The cigarette tax hikes were part of the tax overhaul approved by Republican-controlled state legislature in April.

In a news release, Chilton said it was too soon to see the effects of the legislature’s move to extend the state’s 6 percent sales tax to services like auto repairs, veterinary care and dry cleaning. That’s because there is a month lag between retailers’ collection of sales taxes and their remittance of the money to the state.

To balance its budget, the state needs tax revenue to increase 3.3 percent in the fiscal year that ends June 30, 2019. Results for July -- the first of the month the fiscal year -- indicate that the state is on track, Chilton said.

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