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Brown's budget director urges caution as tax collections rise

May 6, 2011 | 10:48 am

Tax receipts are climbing in California, but Gov. Jerry Brown's budget director issued a statement Friday trying to dampen the growing excitement in Sacramento about the revenues.

"This should in no way be taken to mean that we can ease up on our efforts to close the remaining budget gap," Ana Matosantos said of the unexpected money, which the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office said had reached $2.5 billion on Thursday.

California has an estimated $15.4-billion deficit through June 2012.

The recent surge in tax collections is expected to make it hard for Brown to sell his plan to extend expiring or expired tax increases. Matosantos suggested that Brown's revised budget, to be released May 16, will show that costs have risen as well, absorbing some of the surge.

"If there are more Californians projected to be enrolled in our schools or our health care programs, and if there are more inmates projected in our prison system, that will drive costs up," she said.

-- Shane Goldmacher in Sacramento