California has an unexpected and welcome revenue windfall, but it creates a dilemma on what to do with it.
(Dan Walters) As Gov. Gavin Newsom makes the final decisions on writing a 2021-22 budget, he’s receiving some good revenue news from his bean counters.
During the first four months of the 2020-21 budget cycle, which began on July 1, state general fund revenues were more than $11 billion higher than the apocalyptic estimates on which the budget was based. Moreover, the windfall could easily double to $26 billion in the first months of 2021, according to the Legislature’s budget analyst, Gabe Petek.
California Governor Gerry Brown warned on Thursday that the state, which generates revenue largely through volatile capital gains taxes, is overdue for a correction after years of economic expansion.
“Over the past four years, we have increased spending by billions of dollars for education, health care, child care and other anti-poverty programs. In the coming year, I don’t think even more spending will be possible,” he said. “We have ongoing pressures from Washington and an economic recovery that won’t last forever.”
On Wednesday, the state’s controller, Betty Yee, said revenues through April for the fiscal year that began July 2016 were $1.83 billion below initial estimates. Income tax in April lagged projections by about $708 million.
“This is another signal that we may be inching toward an economic downturn, and we must tailor our spending accordingly,” Yee said.
by Sharon Bernstein | Yahoo News