Wednesday, December 16, 2009

California Taxes Fall Short of November Target by $439 Million

My home state of California seems to find itself in one financial mess after another. Reports emerged yesterday that the state’s estimated tax revenue for November was $439 million less then the government had expected. With the fiscal year only have over, the state’s revenue is already short by an astonishing $1 billion. Some financial experts assert the decline is only a preview of what is to come, and that the upcoming year will be even more difficult on California’s budget.

Schwarzenegger is due to release his budget for the coming fiscal year in January. California Legislative Analyst Mac Taylor said in November the state will face a deficit of $14.4 billion beginning in July. That’s in addition to a $6.3 billion gap opening up in the current year as several projections within the budget falter or miss revenue projections.

“In many respects, the steps to close next year’s budget gap will be even more difficult and more challenging than what we’ve just had to do this year,” Department of Finance spokesman H.D. Palmer said yesterday.

California has been among the most affected by the recession as a wave of home foreclosures, rising unemployment and the 2008 stock market tumble dissipated expected tax receipts. From February through July, lawmakers worked to close a record $60 billion deficit with spending cuts, temporary tax increases and other one-time fixes. The unemployment rate rose to 12.5 percent in October from 8 percent the year before and 4.8 percent in July 2006.

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