Chris Christie Hopeful For Tax Cut, Balanced Budget
Time is running out to implement his tax cut proposal, but Governor Chris Christie believes it can still be done, despite lower than anticipated revenue projections for the Garden state over the coming year. During Townsquare Media's Ask The Governor Program this evening, Christie said he still wants to cut taxes for the hard working people of New Jersey, and he also insisted a deal will be worked out with democratic Legislative leaders to have a balanced budget in place by the June 30th deadline.
"We're ready now to move to move towards passage of a final budget," said the Governor. "I'm happy to engage in conversations as I always have, with the Senate President and the Speaker, about what we need to do to bring a budget together, and I stand ready to meet with them at any time."
As far as whether or not we'll have a tax cut, Christie said, "I think we're very close to an agreement on that - I think the Senate President (Steve Sweeney) and I agree that tax relief now is important for economic growth in the state and for fairness to our citizens.. I believe the Senate President and I will get there - I'm hopeful we'll get there very soon. We're discussing the contours of a bipartisan bill, and I think if we do it then the Assembly has got to decide where they stand - do they stand with the taxpayers of the state or do they want to continue the failed policies of the 8 years before I got here?"
Dr. David Rosen, who heads up the Office of Legislative Services, has estimated state revenues will be 1.3 billion dollars less than the projections put forth by the Governor. Christie and his budget team estimate a gap of 676 million dollars.
Last week the Governor blasted Rosen, calling him "The Doctor Kevorkian of the numbers." He also said, "Nobody in New Jersey believes David Rosen anymore, nobody, and nobody should. He's so wrong for so long that his credibility is now gone. Why would anybody with a functioning brain believe this guy?"
Christie also laced into democratic Assembly Majority Leader Lou Greenwald, and democratic State Senate Budget Chairman Paul Sarlo, saying ""I've never seen a group of people who are supposed to be serving the public root more against their state than the democrats - they're saying there's no New Jersey comeback… I don't know why they root so hard against New Jersey - but that's what they're doing…it's partisan politics at its worst…they want to be obstructionists - they want to be pessimists - they want to talk down our state- I'm not going to let them do it."
He then said "If taxes do not get cut this year, it is the responsibility of one set of people - and that's the Legislative democrats - we want to make New Jersey more competitive - we won't be more competitive by continuing to have some of the highest tax rates in America - it simply won't happen."
The Governor has vowed to take his message to the people - and is expected to once again campaign for a tax cut during a town hall meeting he's holding tomorrow in East Brunswick.