The economic boom based on housing’s surge elevated California dividends to a record $102.5 billion in 2007. After the financial crisis caused companies to hoard cash, dividends plummeted to only $66 billion-$67 billion in 2009 and 2010. Large gains in cash flow, limited opportunities seen by companies for investment opportunities, and shareholder pressure are again driving larger dividend payouts.
The recovery in dividends is another good piece of news for the State’s financial coffers, but is also another sign of the cyclicality of California’s revenue base.
Also of note: As the Franchise Tax Board closes out its income tax return processing for 2013 returns, some staff will begin to focus their efforts on completing the refund cycle. At the end of last April, FTB had identified 479,000 taxpayers who still had refunds outstanding, at a value of about $500 million.