Monday, May 11, 2009

California State Revenue Data: April 2009

State revenue fell off a cliff in April, with an over $6 billion decline from last year (pdf):

Also, the revenue estimates from the latest budget are now inoperable, so the state had to borrow from Golden 1 to make ends meet:

On April 30, the State’s final cash position was actually $1.1 billion below the point expected in the Budget. While special funds recently opened up for cash-flow borrowing produced $1.1 billion over the $2 billion expected in the budget, and $500 million in short-term loans were secured from the Golden One Credit Union, the additional cash was not enough to offset higher than expected disbursements and revenue deterioration.
Despite this monthly cash shortfall, and what can only be called epic revenue decline, the Controller sees "signs of hope:"
California has yet to rid itself of its economic woes. In April, personal income taxes, corporate taxes, and sales taxes came in well below the Budget Act estimates for the month.

These numbers appear fairly grim, but there are encouraging signs that the State’s situation is reaching bottom. Although sales tax revenues were down by more than 50% as compared to last April, consumer spending increased by 2.2% nationwide in the first quarter of 2009. Additionally, retail sales have stabilized in the first three months of this year on a seasonally adjusted basis...

Externally, there are additional signs of hope. The real estate market is beginning to show signs of life and home sales across California are increasing at a rapid pace. There were over 36,000 sales of new and existing homes in March. The large inventory of foreclosed homes that has mounted over the past few years is beginning to be absorbed - over 57% of existing homes sold in March were foreclosure properties.
When the hard numbers are dire, deteriorating rapidly, and site-specific, and the "encouraging signs" are bad, only-slightly-less-dire, and diffuse, you know they're grasping at straws.


patient renter said...

the Controller sees "signs of hope:"The people who complain that the media has a cyclical influence on public life are right! All of that talk about hope and green shoots has the comtroller seeing ghosts.

Darth Toll said...

When the new DMV fees and Prop 1A/B taxes hit (assuming passage), there may be a taxpayer revolt the likes we haven't seen since prop 13 - and boy I am looking forward to it!

The hubris of the CTA in particular is astounding. They are once again leading the charge on campaign spending in favor of tax increases. Haven't these people been watching the auto-makers' demise and how the unions played a big role in saddling, and ultimately destroying the proverbial hand that fed them?

I'm sure the CTA thinks they are immune to such petty inconveniences as having their host company go BK, seeing as how they are leeching off the government and the government can't go BK. Or can it?

In any event, I will be watching events with a certain amount of schadenfreude as the #1 vampire union in the nation sucks the host dry and then (hopefully) dies a horrible and well deserved death. With a little luck, many vampires will die along with the government's finances and California can return to a state of glory, or perhaps get broken off into a few states, which would probably be better anyway.

Anonymous said...

DT - I'll take that one further and predict a new "Prop 13" a public employees pension and pay referendum - either in the form of numbers and controls or reorganizing independent self (non) governing districts under some unbrella.


Max said...

I'll take that one further and predict a new "Prop 13" a public employees pension and pay referendumI doubt this will happen in the near term. Although I work inside the bubble, I do get out into the real world now and then, and the outrage just isn't there like it was in the 70s. I think we'll see some sort of federal oversight before any external spending control props are passed.

Speaking of which, is it just me, or do the local news reports mention the "costs of fighting" the Santa Barbara fire a disproportionate number of times? I've even seen the fire fighting cost story lead into the budget prop story more than once.

Max said...

Anybody with a LexisNexis subscription want to do a search on "fire fighting costs" for me?

Darth Toll said...

"do the local news reports mention the "costs of fighting" the Santa Barbara fire a disproportionate number of times?"

It's not just you. This is more propaganda and mind-control tactics. What are the odds that one of the sacred-cow firefighters started the blaze that said firefighters are now fighting? More than one firefighter has been arrested for arson in the past couple of years and probably many more would have been if this didn't serve the purposes of TPTB. Google "firefighter arrested for arson" for numerous examples of this psychotic self-serving behavior.

Similar to the major AT&T "fiber-cut" recently in Silly Valley where all working and protect paths of a major ring in that area were cut at the same time with a CWA strike imminent. But I'm sure these things aren't related in any way.