(Updates with comparison to controller’s report in second paragraph.)
Oct. 13 (Bloomberg) -- California’s tax collections in the first quarter of the fiscal year fell short of projections by $654 million, or about 3.4 percent, the state Finance Department reported.
The estimate today is in line with figures released by state Controller John Chiang on Oct. 10. The Democratic controller said California was $705 million, or 3.6 percent, short of budget targets for the year that began July 1.
If the most-populous state is likely to fall $1 billion or more behind revenue forecasts for the year, California will cut funding for universities, social services and other programs under a series of automatic triggers written into the budget. A $2 billion shortfall would result in cuts to public education that could shorten the school year by seven days and end subsidies for busing.
“In November and December, the Legislative Analyst’s Office and Finance will produce new forecasts of revenue for the 2011-12 fiscal year based on the economic and cash data available at those times,” according to the report. “It is these forecasts that will determine whether the ‘trigger’ budget reductions will be implemented.”
Chiang said the numbers “do not paint a hopeful picture” in anticipating whether the automatic cuts can be avoided.
Today’s figures differ from Chiang’s because some money received by the state is counted sooner by the agency than by the controller, said H.D. Palmer, a Finance Department spokesman, in an e-mail message.
“Each month, there may be such timing differences,” Palmer said. “Over time, both reports are the same.”
--Editors: Pete Young, Jerry Hart
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