Chris Christie’s Revenue Estimates Too High Says Budget Expert
The State Senate Budget Committee receives the latest state revenue projections today. The Non-partisan Office of Legislative Services (OLS) briefed the panel during this morning’s session. Later today, State Treasurer Andrew Eristoff presents the Christie Administration estimates.
OLS is the research arm of the legislature. David Rosen is its chief budget analyst. He says, for Fiscal Year 2012, revenues are $144.9 million, or 0.5%, below the Executive budget estimates. For FY 2013, the OLS revenue estimates are $392 million, or 1.2%, below the Executive budget estimates.
Adding FY 12 and FY 13 shortfalls together reveals Governor Chris Christie’s estimates for the current and proposed budget are $537 million dollars above the OLS figures. Rosen tells Senate budget panel members, “The $537 million difference over is highly significant as you craft your budget.”
“There are two things OLS has proven in this area: One is being wrong, and two is following whatever the agenda is of the majority of the Legislature,” Christie said. “Last year when the Legislature wanted to spend more, they said I said we didn’t have enough money. They turned out to be wrong about that. Now this year when I want to cut taxes, they say we don’t have eough money.”
Christie’s $32.1 billion budget proposal is ambitious and relies on his revenues estimates. In the next Fiscal Year which begins July first, the Governor wants to increase education funding for to K-12 public schools and institutions of higher education. The Governor also proposes a 10% across-the-board income tax cut for every New Jerseyan.
Rosen does have some good news. He explains, “Despite a scare or two there is growing evidence that the national economic recovery is taking hold and that New Jersey is participating in that upturn.”