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California Deficit $1 Billion Smaller, Controller Says

California ended its fiscal year with a shortfall that was $1 billion less than Governor Jerry Brown estimated in May, after the most-populous U.S. state collected more taxes and spent less in June than projected.

The state spent $89.2 billion in the fiscal year ended June 30 even though it only collected $87.8 billion, Controller John Chiang said today. The state also ended the fiscal year with a $9.6 billion cash deficit, a shortfall covered with internal borrowing and accounting maneuvers.

June revenue came in about 2 percent, or $247 million, above what Brown estimated in May, Chiang said, led by personal income taxes that beat projections by about 8 percent, or $496.3 million. Sales levies were ahead $1.3 million, while corporate taxes came in at $305.7 million, or about 16 percent below projections.

Brown and Democrats passed a budget for this fiscal year that spends $91.3 billion and counts on voters approving higher taxes in November. Standard & Poor’s rates California’s general-obligation debt A-, the fourth-lowest investment grade. The company said the budget’s “realistic” solutions to a $15.7 billion deficit warrant a positive outlook on California debt.

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