Last month, Democratic California Gov. Jerry Brown proudly announced that the state’s coffers were flooded with a surprise $5 billion windfall–a revenue bump the Los Angeles Times called “historic.”
“Right now, in the next four years, we’re talking about a balanced budget,” said Brown. “We’re talking about living within our means. This is new. This is a breakthrough.”
But now, Brown’s own budget office says the revenue spike was an accounting anomaly that was “likely the result of major tax law changes at the federal and state level having a significant impact in the timing of revenue receipts.”
Put simply, taxpayers paid their bills in advance to unload income off the books to avert getting hit with newly implemented tax increases.
“The administration was expecting that money to arrive in April,” reports the LA Times. “Now, officials are saying it won’t, and that just as January’s receipts soared, they’ll be offset by a spring plunge.”