Leading Democrats wasted no time Tuesday is blasting Governor Chris Christie's State Budget Address, most notably his proposal for a 10% across-the-board income tax cut phased in over three years.

Democrats claim it's a giveaway to the rich. It should come as no surprise that the idea of a millionaires' tax hike is already moving front and center despite the fact that Christie says he'll veto it.

Assemblyman John McKeon sponsors the measure in the People's House. State Senators Shirley Turner and Linda Greenstein sponsor the companion bill in the Upper House.

The measure would increase the rate of the New Jersey gross income tax for taxpayers with taxable incomes exceeding $1,000,000. The bill provides for adjusted income taxation at the following bracket at the following rate: over $1,000,000 is adjusted from 8.97% to 10.75%. The bill permanently imposes the tax rate at this $1,000,000 income bracket that was temporarily imposed during taxable year 2009.


"What we could do is indeed give our hardworking New Jerseyans that tax cut that the Governor promised, but actually fund it by allowing those who earn in excess of $1 million to be a part of the solution overall," explains McKeon. "We could fund the 10% tax cut that we're talking about and we wouldn't have to take away from property tax relief (and) we wouldn't have to take away from our schools."

Democrats agree with Christie that the people of New Jersey want lower taxes. They just think he picked the wrong tax to cut. They feel the focus should be squarely on property taxes. They say the average Jersey resident would be lucky to see $100 in savings from the income tax cut plan while millionaires would receive over $7,000.

In his budget message, the Governor was clear on his position as it pertains to a millionaires' tax increase.

He said, "Our standing in the last two years has improved somewhat - but not enough. We have stopped spending growth in its tracks. We have eliminated the special surtax that for a time gave New Jersey the highest marginal tax rate in the nation - and I am proud to have twice vetoed the effort to re-introduce it. And just so there is no mistake in my intention: I will veto any tax increase again."

"We'll try to attempt to work in a bi-partisan way (and) hopefully the Governor will show some flexibility in doing what's right by all the citizens of New Jersey and not just a very small select group," says McKeon.

"Obviously we've got until July 1st with the budget. I would expect that this will be an integral part of a striking a deal as it relates to the budget that is now going to be before us."