LOS ANGELES — California's April revenues fell short of estimates in Gov. Jerry Brown's proposed 2016-17 budget by $1.19 billion, according to State Controller Betty Yee's monthly cash report.
"We know that state revenues cannot defy gravity forever," Yee in a release. "It is too early to call this a trend rather than a one-time occurrence. However, we should always expect peaks and valleys in the state's financial performance."
Brown must release his updated "May Revise" fiscal 2017 budget proposal by Saturday. State lawmakers are supposed to adopt a final spending plan by June 15.
The initial $122.6 billion budget Brown proposed in January avoided new initiatives or substantial increases in ongoing programs, even though the improving economy resulted in a revenue spike that has many lawmakers chomping at the bit to boost spending.
Most Californians file their tax returns in April, and the month's total is closely watched as a possible bellwether of the state's fiscal fortunes, according to Yee's release.
April personal income tax revenues of $13.4 billion fell short by $1.22 billion, or 8.4%, of projections in the January budget proposal.
Retail sales and use tax revenues of $816.1 million lagged by $53.9 million, or 6.2%. Only the corporation tax beat estimates, with revenues of $1.98 billion coming in $95.4 million higher than expected, or 5.1 percent.
Overall, April's total revenues of $16.78 billion fell short of the January estimate by 6.6%.
April's collections drove revenues for the fiscal year to date into negative territory compared to the January projections. For the fiscal year that began July 1, overall revenues of $95.15 billion are off by $680.5 million, or 0.7%. The personal income tax and the sales tax are falling short by $1.16 billion and $217.6 million, respectively. The corporation tax for the fiscal year to date is surpassing expectations by $476.3 million.
Compared to actual revenues in the prior fiscal year, April revenues were $215.0 million lower. However, for the fiscal year to date, revenues are still outpacing the previous fiscal year by $4.99 billion, or 5.5%.