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Chris Christie Supports Senate Democrats Tax Cut Plan [AUDIO]

The deadline for a signed and balanced State Budget in New Jersey is midnight June 30th. Consensus on three competing tax cut plans is paramount to meeting that deadline. Yesterday, Governor Chris Christie all but confirmed that he supports the tax cut plan being put forth by State Senate President Steve Sweeney.

Steve Sweeney and Chris Christie
Steve Sweeney and Chris Christie (Governor's Office/Tim Larsen)

“We want to cut your taxes this year and we want you to get a 10% credit on your income tax towards your property taxes,” said Christie. “That’s what the Senate President’s plan is. I’ve wanted to cut taxes across the board for the income tax. There’s an area for us to compromise there I suspect and you know the senate President and I have compromised on a lot of things over the last two and a half years.”

Christie originally proposed to reduce personal income tax rates, across-the-board, for every New Jerseyan, by 10% with the three-year phase-in of the cut with this budget. He says 10% tax cut for every working New Jerseyan will help families to keep more of what they earn and make the state more competitive with other states and attract more new jobs to New Jersey.

The Senate Democrats proposal would provide a property tax relief credit through the gross income tax return, for all residential homeowners with incomes up to $250,000 in the amount of 10% of the first $10,000 in property taxes paid. Recently Sweeney and Christie appeared ready to announce an agreement with a $400,000 threshold. A press conference was scrapped after sources said several Senate Democrats were not sold on the compromise.

A spokesman for Sweeney says, “The Senate President is thrilled that the Governor recognizes that property taxes are the most pressing issue for middle class households in New Jersey, not income taxes.”

The Assembly Democrats property tax cut plan works the same way as the Senate’s proposal, but would provide a 20% savings and be partially funded by a millionaires tax increase which Christie has already vetoed twice and vows to veto again. Seniors would receive a 25% property tax cut under the proposal.

Christie made his comments yesterday as he addressed a group of seniors at an AARP conference. He also asked them for assistance. He said, “We need your help. We need you over the next 24 days. We’ll be working with your organization to say to the Assembly Democrats, ‘Let’s come up with a compromise that reduces people’s taxes and doesn’t raise taxes in New Jersey anymore.'”

“As if it wasn’t enough to slash property tax rebates after promising not to, Governor Christie is now urging seniors to oppose our plan that would give them a 25 percent property relief credit. It’s a desperate strategy of distortion and distraction,” says Assembly Democratic Leader Lou Greenwald. “The bottom line is clear: New Jersey’s seniors don’t need more slogans and tax cuts for millionaires. They need a 25 percent property tax relief credit.”

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