California revenues soar in January to highs not seen in a decade

WASHINGTON Fri Feb 8, 2013 5:37pm EST

WASHINGTON Feb 8 (Reuters) - California's total revenues in January came in more than a third above estimates, and were 70 percent higher than the same month a year earlier, the state's Controller John Chiang said on Friday.

"Last month's revenues were by far the highest that California has seen in any January for the past decade. Along with increased auto sales, rising home values, and more construction, it signals that California may be entering an era where we can govern outside of crisis," Chiang said in a statement.

That pushed California's total general fund revenue for the fiscal year running July 1 through January 31 to $53.48 billion, compared to $46.22 billion during the same period last year.

Still, the state had a cash deficit totaling $15.7 billion as of January 31 that it covered with both internal and external revenues.

The total revenues for the first month of 2013 were $4.3 billion more than Governor Jerry Brown anticipated in his 2013-14 proposed budget.

Personal income taxes, which account for two-thirds of the state's revenues, were $4.8 billion - or 54.7 percent - above budget, and corporate income taxes beat expectations by $11.4 million. Sales tax receipts dragged on the month's revenues, coming in 27 percent, or $582.7 million below budget.

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