| SAN FRANCISCO
SAN FRANCISCO Nov 16 The California Department
of Finance announced on Wednesday that the outlook for the
upcoming budget was "concerning," given lower-than-expected tax
California has collected $1 billion less than it had
anticipated in tax revenues since the start of the fiscal year
in July and nearly $400 million less than it had projected
during the month of October. Year-to-date revenues are $595
million below an expected $32.9 billion.
California's budget is subject to "many volatile and
unpredictable economic conditions," according to a report
released on Wednesday by California's Legislative Analyst's
Office (LAO). The financial watchdog estimated that California
has enough in reserve funds to weather a mild recession without
cutting spending or raising taxes through 2021.
California Director of Finance Michael Cohen said in a
statement on Wednesday that "the outlook for the upcoming budget
is concerning and will need to account for this declining
revenue and the significant uncertainties," identified by the
LAO, such as stock market performance, the potential for
recession, and changes in federal policy.
Hit hard during the recession in 2008, California has slowly
come back from a severe budget crisis by closing a large
shortfall, boosting reserve funds, and paying down debts.
(Reporting by Robin Respaut; Editing by Sandra Maler)