With one third of April 2012 now in the record books, one thing seems certain: the California budget hasn't gotten much love from the state's taxpayers.
Income taxes are the most important part of the state's revenue stream, and April is the single biggest month of the year for the collection of those revenues.
Through the first ten days of April, state officials report that just under $1.1 billion of income tax revenues have been collected. That may sound good, until you consider this: Governor Jerry Brown's proposed state budget assumes that $9.13 billion will be collected this month.
And so you don't need an advanced math degree to see the problem. One third of the month has passed, and yet only one tenth of the expected tax revenues have materialized.
That means that more than $8 billion needs to come in by April 30... or an average of $575 million each business day... just for the governor's tax revenue projection to come true.
No one can definitively say that's impossible, but it's going to be awfully, awfully hard for that to happen. While state officials correctly point out that early April is usually the weakest part of the month for tax collection (refunds often are bigger, they say, to begin with)... the final portion of April 2011 netted the state about $5.6 billion of income tax revenues.
In the parlance of everyone's favorite spring pastime, it's looking like the state's got to hit a grand slam to win the game by April 30.
What happens if Brown's budget projection comes up short? Assuming all other things are equal, it would mean a larger projected deficit in his revised May budget plan... and likely more cuts in state spending.
You can track the daily tax total for yourself on the website of the state controller.