Monday, April 11, 2016

Update: The California Budget Surplus

by Bill McBride on 4/11/2016 02:59:00 PM

In November 2012, I was interviewed by Joe Weisenthal at Business Insider (now at Bloomberg). One of my comments during our discussion on state and local governments was:

I wouldn’t be surprised if we see all of a sudden a report come out, “Hey, we’ve got a balanced budget in California.”
At the time that was way out of the consensus view. And a couple of months later California announced a balanced budget, see The California Budget Surplus

The situation has improved significantly since then. Here is the most recent update from California State Controller Betty Yee: CA Controller’s March Cash Report Shows Higher-Than-Expected Revenues
March state revenues surpassed estimates in Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposed 2016-17 budget by $218.6 million, with both the corporation tax and the retail sales and use tax beating expectations, State Controller Betty T. Yee reported today.

Overall, total revenues of $7.40 billion outstripped projections in the proposed budget released in January by 3 percent. Corporation tax revenues of $1.71 billion were $47.5 million, or 2.9 percent, higher than expected. Sales tax revenues of $1.79 billion beat expectations by $36.0 million, or 2.0 percent. Only the personal income tax, which has normally surpassed projections in the past few years, came up short. Revenues of $3.49 billion were $31.2 million, or 0.9 percent, less than expected.
...
Compared to projections when this year’s budget was signed last summer, revenues for the first nine months of the fiscal year are $2.26 billion higher than expected, with both the corporation tax and the personal income tax exceeding estimates. Compared to the prior fiscal year, revenues to date are higher by $5.20 billion, or 7.1 percent.
emphasis added
California is doing much better.