Despite relatively robust income tax returns and a projection that the state will finish April billions of dollars ahead of estimates, Gov. Jerry Brown today dismissed a reporter's suggestion he must be "pretty happy," suggesting any overage may be tied up by Proposition 98, California's school-funding guarantee.
"The revenues, guys, wait 'til the May revise," the Democratic governor told reporters at the Capitol. "We have a very complicated mechanism called Prop. 98, and depending upon how the money flows, it may ... not be as available as many people are now thinking."
April is typically the most significant month for personal income tax collections, and state budget watchers track revenue daily. The nonpartisan Legislative Analyst's Office estimated today that the state's personal income tax collections will end the month about $4 billion above the administration's estimates.
By the end of the fiscal year, the LAO said, revenue may be "a few billion dollars" above estimates. Like Brown, however, the LAO was restrained in its assessment of the significance of any additional revenue.
The report said "much or all of the revenue gain could be required to be allocated to schools and community colleges under Proposition 98, which means that this fiscal year's strong revenue performance may have little, if any, positive effect for the state's financial bottom line."
PHOTO CREDIT: Gov. Jerry Brown speaks to reporters at the Capitol on Tuesday, April 23, 2013. David Siders / Sacramento Bee