KERN COUNTY, Calif. — 23ABC took a look at how California leadership managed the state's finances during the pandemic, and to some surprise, California saw a budget surplus, totaling $75 billion. It was all part of a few announcements Monday by the governor, including a plan to help Californians.
Governor Newsom introduced his California Comeback Plan where he says "immediate relief" is on the way for some in our state.
The proposal will provide roughly $100 billion to those eligible.
Part of that includes a $12 billion tax rebate.
"That tax rebate will impact just shy of 80% of all tax filers, will get a direct stimulus check, will get a direct relief payment because of this announcement."
Those eligible would receive $600 and families with children would get an additional $500.
The federal government is contributing $26 billion to the governor's plan.
The proposal also plans to forgive all missed rent payments in the state.
Another two billion will be used to pay off water, gas, and electric bills.
And in light of that surplus, 23ABC was curious how that happened and where all the money came from, so we're taking a deeper dive into the 2020 to 2021 state budget.
Personal income taxes generated close to $80 billion in the state.
That number was slightly lower than previous years but remained relatively high during the pandemic in part due to how the state taxes its highest earners. That tax revenue remained high and likely contributed to the surplus we saw reported today.
Additionally, sales taxes and large corporations in California generated a combined $47 billion in tax dollars for the state.
Corporate taxes in 2020 generated close to $3 billion more for the state last year than in years previous.
While many of us working from home during the pandemic, it's no secret many others were left without jobs.
Monday, the governor also said the state is recovering from record-breaking unemployment figures we saw at the height of the pandemic.
"275,000 jobs have been created in the last two months, uh, in the state of California, 41% of America's jobs came out of the state of California in February. California's not just back, California is roaring back," said Newsom.
The National Bureau of Economic Research reports that the start of the pandemic marked the end of the longest period of economic growth in American history following the crash of 2008.
The united states unemployment rate peaked at 14.8% back in April of 2020.
During this same time, unemployment in Kern County also peaked at roughly 19%.
The governor says jobs are coming back across the state, but in Kern County, unemployment rates are going up slowly.
March of this year saw an unemployment rate of about 11%.
In early 2020, food service, retail, construction, and educational services all saw the greatest immediate loss.
All of those industries saw continued loss throughout the rest of the year.
The agriculture industry saw pronounced periods of job loss in the later months of the year.