California Housing Slump Worsening State Budget Picture

California tax revenue dropped precipitously in September as the slumping housing market pushed up unemployment and home sales slid for the sixth straight month.

California collected $809 million less than expected.

The drop, about 7 percent below projections, nearly doubles the cash
shortfall the state recorded for all of last year.

The state's finance director said revenue could rebound as residents file late income tax returns. But he said the drop suggests California will grapple with a larger operating deficit than expected in the next fiscal year.

The state's shortfall already was forecast to be about $6 billion.

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