Capitol Alert: California state tax revenues running $2.2 billion above estimates

dwalters@sacbee.comMay 8, 2014 

Tax revenues are running $2.2 billion above assumptions in the 2013-14 state budget, setting the stage for final negotiations on a 2014-15 budget in the next month.

The higher revenues, contained in a report from the State Controller's Office, are expected to be reflected in Gov. Jerry Brown's revised budget which will be released in a few days.

Brown has said he wants extra money to be placed in a "rainy-day fund" and/or be used to retire state debts, but many of his fellow Democrats in the Legislature are seeking higher spending on health, welfare and education services, including universal pre-kindergarten.

Controller John Chiang said that through April - the first 10 months of the fiscal year - revenues were 102.8 percent of assumptions in the current budget. April is the state's most important revenue months because personal income taxes, by far the largest source of revenues, were due on April 15.

However, corporate income taxes, 11.3 percent above estimates, showed the largest increase over budget assumptions.

"California saw about $300 million more in its bank account at the end of April than expected after tax collections were tabulated for the pivotal month," Chiang's report said. "Total revenues (for April) reached $13.9 billion, beating estimates made in conjunction with the governor's budget released in January by 2.2 percent."

Meanwhile, Chiang said, state spending has tracked the budget's assumptions very closely, so virtually all of the extra money remains in the treasury.

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