Chris Christie’s Budget Calls For $1.64 Billion In One-Shots [AUDIO]
Since taking office, Governor Chris Christie has railed against past Governors for using one-time revenue streams, known as one-shots to balance State Budgets.
The spending plan Christie proposes for the fiscal year that begins on July 1 includes more than $1.6 billion in one-shots and that's up 1% from the current budget.
Christie proposes using $200 million from the Clean Energy Fund, $75 million from a bank settlement over mortgages, $200 million from municipally-collected housing fees among other plans says Dr. David Rosen with the non-partisan Office of Legislative Services (OLS).
"They're going to be used in 2013 (and) they would not be available in 2014," explains Rosen. "It's not one-shot tax revenue because most of it's not, or at least some of it's not from taxes…….They are part of the total revenues for (fiscal year) 13, but you shouldn't be counting them as the growth in tax revenues from 12 to 13."
The State Treasurer's 2013 budget summary shows the $1.64 billion in one-shots include spending down the opening surplus, tax policy changes, revenue related initiatives and appropriation related offsets.
$1.64 billion represents 5% of the total budget proposal. That's up 1% from the current year's budget, but it's nowhere near what was included in former Governor Jon Corzine last spending plan for Fiscal Year 2010. That budget included $3.82 billion in one-shots which represented 13% of the overall spending plan.
It may strike some as odd that Rosen is the one explaining what Christie's one-shots really are because it was exactly one week ago today that Rosen estimated that over the next 14 months state revenues will lag $1.3 billion behind Christie's projections. Christie expects the budget gap to be about $676 million.
After hearing Rosen's estimates, Christie blasted the budget expert calling him, "The Dr. Kevorkian of the numbers." The Governor says OLS is partisan and always has been. He claims it caters to the majority party in New Jersey which currently happens to be the Democrats.
It is crystal clear that the Governor is not buying Rosen's projections. Christie says, "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? How often to you have to be wrong to finally be dismissed?"
At least one of Rosen's predictions was 100% true. Even before Christie's tirade, Rosen had this to say to the Assembly Budget Committee, "I suspect that some of the conversation today and in the next few weeks will concern contrasting revenue estimates. The first lesson that should be learned by a revenue estimator is humility."
"All revenue estimates are wrong, particularly when the economy does things that are unexpected on the upside or downside, revenue estimates can be fairly substantially wrong," said Rosen, also before Christie blasted him. "It's absolutely true that sometimes we're wrong on the high side and sometimes we're wrong on the low side and we probably should be. If we were consistently wrong in one direction it might suggest a bias of one kind or another. When we're wrong we're just wrong because we missed."