March Badness

While not one of California’s big revenue-generating months, comparing this year’s March collections with prior years offers further evidence that when lawmakers and the governor revisit the state budget after the May 19 special election the situation will be worse, not better.

Because of taxes due on the 15th, April is the state’s biggest revenue generating month and balances on hand on the 30th will reveal a lot more about California’s fiscal condition.

However, March is also telling. As the end of a quarter, receipts from business taxes are higher than personal income tax collections.

Perhaps due to greater unemployment resulting in less income, the state has paid out 5.3 percent more in personal income tax refunds this year compared to 2008: $4.2 billion versus nearly $4 billion.

The average refund is also higher this year — $718, up 4.8 percent from last year’s $685.

Californians paid $526,272 in personal income taxes in March. Companies paid $1,714,293 in bank and corporation taxes for a total of $2,240,565.

In 2008, personal income tax collections were $656,187 but corporate collections were lower at $1,476,802 for a total of $2,132,989 – a little more than $107 million less than this year.

There has been a sharp fall-off in collections from 2007 and 2006.

Personal income tax collections in March for 2007 were $712,795. Business taxes were $1,745,282. Total collections $2,458,077.

March collections in 2006 were similar: $710,479 in personal income tax payments and $1,643,552 for bank and corporations collections. Total March collections were $2,354,031.


Filed under: Budget and Economy


  1. There has been a sharp fall-off in collections from 2007 and 2006 and a sharp rise in taxes wonder if there is a correlation; and is the fiddler still playing or has the fire gone to embers.

    Comment by Management Slug — 4.02.2009 @ 4:14 pm

  2. Greg: I would offer my help, but I’m currently out-of-town working through a few personal issues. Good luck.

    Comment by Bernie Madoff — 4.03.2009 @ 8:57 am

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