That's 20 percent less than projections from the governor's proposed budget. Much of the shortfall came from personal income tax receipts, which were almost $2 billion below forecasts. And as you might imagine, April is a big month. Also way down were sales tax receipts. The upshot is that California must deal with a significantly larger deficit than what was expected a few months ago. The state controller's office was trying to look at the bright side. From its report:
Relative to last year, personal income tax revenues were actually up in April by $56 million (0.8%). Modest though this may be, it shows that personal incomes in the state are actually growing and this improvement comes in spite of the fact that income tax rates dropped by 0.25 percentage points in the 2011 year. In fact, this means that the underlying income base is growing even faster than the 0.8% year-over-year increase in revenues would suggest. In addition, and perhaps more importantly, with-holding on personal income is actually up on a year-to-date basis according to estimates from the Franchise Tax Board.