CORRECTED-California's Feb revenue misses budget estimate by $1.8 mln
(Corrects headline to $1.8 mln from $11.8 mln)
SAN FRANCISCO, March 11 (Reuters) - California's revenue in February came in $1.8 million below estimate in Governor Jerry Brown's proposed state budget plan as revenue from personal income tax weakened, the state controller's office said on Monday.
Revenue from personal income tax collections, the state's most important source of revenue, was $441.2 million below estimate in the budget proposals, reflecting a large number of tax refunds in February instead of January when they were initially expected to be sent.
Better than expected gains in revenue from sales tax and corporate tax collections helped offset the lower than expected revenue from personal income tax collections.
Revenue from sales tax collections was $363.5 million above estimate in the budget proposal while revenue from corporate tax collections was $26.3 million above forecast.
"February's revenues came within a percentage point of estimates," State Controller John Chiang said in a statement. "Healthy revenues, along with recovering home prices, a steep drop in foreclosures, and increased car sales are harbingers of a California economy that is starting to warm-up."
California's revenue since the July 1 start of its fiscal year is $4.3 billion above expectation, according to a spokesman for the controller.
Chiang's office in its monthly revenue report said California's leaders should remain cautious about the state's revenue trend: "The economy could lose momentum, which could adversely impact tax receipts even with the effect of higher tax rates. It will also be critical that spending remain restrained to keep the State on a track toward fiscal health."
Brown's budget proposal projects the state budget to swing to a surpluses thanks to the improving economy, new revenue from tax increases approved by voters in November and fellow Democrats who control the legislature backing his plan for holding down spending. (Reporting By Jim Christie; Editing by Leslie Gevirtz)
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