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California tax revenue dips but surplus remains

March 15, 2013|By Chris Megerian
  • Gov. Jerry Brown speaks to reporters the day after the November 2012 election, when voters approved his tax-hike plan.
Gov. Jerry Brown speaks to reporters the day after the November 2012 election,… (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles…)

California tax revenue slowed in February but is still far outpacing expectations, according to a report released Friday.

The report, released by Gov. Jerry Brown's Department of Finance, showed income tax revenue falling 20% below projections in February. Sales tax revenue fell slightly behind the month's goal.

The shortfalls chip away at the state's multi-billion-dollar surplus.

At the end of January, the state had collected $5.1 billion more tax revenue than expected. Now the excess revenue is pegged at nearly $4.8 billion. 

Administration officials attribute the drop to an issue of timing. They say Californians likely paid their taxes earlier in the fiscal year, leading to a big revenue spike in January and the potential of smaller totals in the coming months.

Brown's latest budget proposal counts on the state finishing the current fiscal year with almost $800 million leftover.

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Twitter: @chrismegerian

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