SAN FRANCISCO – California Controller John Chiang said Tuesday that April revenues came in $2.4 billion, or 20%, below estimates in Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposed budget.

Revenues for the 10 months of fiscal 2012 that end with the crucial tax-collecting month of April are $3.5 billion, or 5%, short of Brown’s budget estimates,  Chiang said in his monthly report.

The confirmation that revenues are well below budget projections increases the likelihood for big changes in the governor’s coming May Revise updated budget proposal.

“The task of crafting a credibly balanced budget has been made more difficult by a nine-month revenue shortfall of $3.5 billion,” Chiang said in a statement Tuesday.

Chiang’s revenue figures parallel those released last week by the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office, which projected state revenues through April are $3 billion short of projections in Brown’s budget proposal.

In January, the Democratic governor proposed a $92.5 billion spending plan for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2013, that attempted to close an estimated $9.2 billion deficit.

Brown is pushing a tax referendum this November that he estimates could raise nearly $9 billion by raising sales taxes and income taxes on the wealthy. The money would mainly be used to prevent further cuts to education that would be triggered if the ballot initiative fails. A competing tax measure to raise money for schools will also be on the November ballot.

A dearth in personal income tax collections was the main cause of the monthly shortfall, coming in $1.96 billion, or 21%, short of projections, according to the controller’s office. Sales taxes fell compared to estimates by $445 million, or 54%, while corporate taxes also dropped $142 million, or 9%. 

For the fiscal year through April, income taxes revenues are off $2.7 billion, or 6%, and corporate tax collections are off $464 million, or 7%, the controller said.

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