Gov. Brown on Jan. 9 in the state Capitol as he unveiled his 2015-16 draft budget. Brown's budget includes the newly approved "rainy day fund."(Photo: AP/Rich Pedroncelli)
California’s economy may not be booming, but it is definitely on the mend. The Bay Area is churning out high-tech profits and high-wage jobs. In other parts of the state, unemployment is inching down toward full-employment levels. And as always when California’s economy improves, tax revenues are soaring. With an income tax system highly dependent on the wealthy and their investment income, the state treasury typically sees a windfall whenever times are good.
Buoyed by a soaring stock market and rising home prices, personal income tax receipts are flowing into the state treasury at a rate exceeding all expectations. But one big question looms as lawmakers and the governor consider how to spend the government’s new found riches: what will happen when the music stops?