Higher wages mean more tax revenue for Ky.

Posted at 8:17 PM, Dec 16, 2015

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Kentuckians are earning more money, and state officials will soon be making plans to spend it.

Wednesday a group of state economists added more than $222 million to the state budget that ends June 30. They also approved revenue estimates for the first two years of Republican Gov. Matt Bevin's administration. Bevin will have $10.6 billion to spend in the 2016-17 fiscal year and $10.8 billion to spend the year after that.

Analysts expect Kentuckians' personal income to increase at least 4 percent next year, meaning they will pay more in income taxes. Since 2003, Kentuckians' income has risen on average 3.7 percent each year.

Justin Tapp with the governor's office for economic analysis said employers have been increasing wages in an attempt to attract qualified people to fill open positions.