California took in $233.5 million less in revenue in March than what Governor Jerry Brown estimated in his budget proposal, the state controller said.
Most of the shortfall was caused by corporate tax receipts, which came in $125.8 million, or 8.2 percent, below projections, Controller John Chiang said in a statement. Sales taxes were down by $25.7 million. Personal-income taxes were $41.4 million below forecast, a gap caused by taxpayer refunds going out faster than expected.
Brown, a 74-year-old Democrat, proposed a budget in January that seeks to erase a $9 billion deficit in part by asking voters to temporarily raise income and sales taxes through a November referendum. If voters reject that proposal, Brown’s plan calls for $5 billion of automatic cuts midway through the fiscal year that begins July 1. Most of those reductions would come from education.
“While revenues continue to fall short, the months ahead will be far more important to the state’s finances,” Chiang said in a statement. “More than 35 percent of all revenues are expected in the next three months, making this the most important period for tax collection in the fiscal year.”
Personal-income taxes composed more than half the state’s annual revenue, and 14 percent of the total came in April last year, Chiang said.