Millions of Americans spent the last year out of work, and California alone has processed more than 20 million unemployment insurance claims since last March. Usually when a state is dealing with such high unemployment, it has to make major budget cuts because spending and tax revenues fall.
But new data from the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center suggests that California’s tax revenue last year went up by more than a percentage point. That sounds small, but it translates to a projected $15 billion budget surplus. Many states saw an increase in tax revenue last year too.