Capitol Alert

State revenue now hundreds of millions higher than budget estimates

Gov. Jerry Brown discusses the compromise budget he reached with Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins, D-San Diego, left, and Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon, D-Los Angeles, at a Capitol news conference June 16, 2015. New state data suggests the state will collect more in income tax and corporate tax revenue for 2014-15 than the plan estimated.
Gov. Jerry Brown discusses the compromise budget he reached with Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins, D-San Diego, left, and Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon, D-Los Angeles, at a Capitol news conference June 16, 2015. New state data suggests the state will collect more in income tax and corporate tax revenue for 2014-15 than the plan estimated. AP

The 2014-15 fiscal year came to an end this week, and it will be a long time before officials finish closing the books. Early signs, though, are that revenue for the just-completed fiscal year will exceed estimates in the newly minted state budget by hundreds of millions of dollars.

New numbers from the Legislative Analyst’s Office, reflecting the latest data from the Franchise Tax Board, show that the state took in $541 million more in income tax and corporate tax revenue than reflected in the budget approved two weeks ago.

The early numbers could change as the money moves through the state controller’s office and officials figure out how much will actually go into the state treasury and be available for state programs. Still, it’s a strong sign that general fund revenue for the fiscal year that ended Tuesday will be well above the $112.9 billion estimated in the budget package approved by lawmakers June 17 and signed by Brown last week. Sales tax data through June, for example, has yet to be compiled.

“It’s a key indicator,” Jason Sisney of the Legislative Analyst’s Office said of the so-called agency cash numbers.

The analyst’s office took a more bullish view of state revenue than did the Brown administration, projecting about $3 billion more in revenue through June 2016. Last month’s budget, though, reflects the administration’s numbers.

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