Capitol Alert

California tax collections soared last year, giving the state an extra $1 billion

Hear governor Gavin Newsom’s 2019 state budget proposal

Gavin Newsom revealed his $209 billion California state budget proposal on Jan. 10, 2019.
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Gavin Newsom revealed his $209 billion California state budget proposal on Jan. 10, 2019.

California brought in $1 billion more than projected in its last financial year, the state’s Department of Finance announced Friday.

It’s a sign the state’s unusually long period of economic growth is still going.

The news comes just after Gov. Gavin Newsom and lawmakers last month approved a $215 billion state new budget, which relies on a big projected surplus to fill the state’s reserve accounts with more than $19 billion. That money is intended to save lawmakers from having to make deep cuts when the next economic recession hits.

The unexpected bump announced Friday means the state’s general fund revenue was 0.7 percentage points higher than predicted when lawmakers approved last year’s budget.

About half of the unexpected windfall came from personal income tax revenue, which was $523 million higher than forecast. Sales, corporate, and insurance taxes also came in higher than predicted. Revenue from alcohol sales was $32 million lower than expected.

California collects about 70 percent of its general fund revenue from personal income taxes, and almost half of the money comes from the wealthiest 1 percent of households.

The state’s fiscal year runs from July through June.

The U.S. economy has been growing since June 2009, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research. The 121-month U.S. economic expansion is now recognized as the longest on record.

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Sophia Bollag covers California politics and government. Before joining The Bee, she reported in Sacramento for the Associated Press and the Los Angeles Times. She grew up in California and is a graduate of Northwestern University.
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