Legislature’s Budget Expert Questions Brown Deficit Forecast

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SACRAMENTO (AP) — The California Legislature’s nonpartisan budget expert says Gov. Jerry Brown’s state revenue projection is probably overly conservative.

Legislative Analyst Mac Taylor released his initial analysis of the governor’s budget Friday. The Democratic governor has forecast a $1.6 billion deficit next year because of higher costs and a sharp drop in income tax revenue.

Brown projected income tax revenue would grow by 3.3 percent. Taylor says that contradicts history and is counter to the administration’s own economic outlook.

He says revenue growth would typically exceed 5 percent without a recession or major policy change. He says he doesn’t understand Brown’s projection of rising stock prices but slowing capital gains revenue.

Taylor says California could have “considerably more revenue” next year than the governor forecasts. He previously forecast a $2.8 billion surplus.