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Christie And Budget Analyst $800 Million Apart On Revenues [AUDIO]

The top budget expert with the non-partisan Office of Legislative Services (OLS) says there could be a two-year State Budget shortfall of almost $1 billion.

Governor’s Office/Tim Larsen

The State Treasurer says the combined shortfall is more like $165 million. Gov. Chris Christie sides with his money man and is blasting OLS.

“Compared to the revenue forecasts provided in the February Governor’s Budget Message (GBM), we anticipate $442.2 million less revenue in Fiscal Year (FY) 2013 and $492.4 million less in FY 2014, for a two-year gap of $937 million,” says Dr. David Rosen, legislative budget and finance officer with OLS. “Six weeks ago that gap was $637 million.”

State Treasurer Andrew Sidamon-Eristoff paints a rosier picture.

“We are recognizing a net reduction in projected revenue for Fiscal Year 2013 of $132 million,” says Sidamon-Eristoff. He says he’s identified $74 million in additional lapses (unspent money) and a reduction in supplemental needs of $93 million to plug the FY 2013 shortfall. “Carrying this increased fund balance into the next fiscal year offsets a net reduction in projected revenues of $33 million in Fiscal year 2014.”

2013 NJ Budget Coverage

It’s becoming an annual rite of spring. Rosen offers a bleak revenue picture and then Christie bashes him. This year is no different.

“Once again I think OLS is dead wrong,” says the Governor. “I mean we’re $800 million apart on our projections…..I don’t know, candidly whether he (Rosen) has just lost it or whether he’s just playing politics, but the fact is, he’s dead wrong.”

The Democrat running against Christie this November was quick to seize on the shortfall disparity.

“You can’t bully the numbers,” says State Senator Barbara Buono. “Attacking the messenger is the sign of someone who knows he’s wrong, doesn’t have the facts, and is unwilling to correct his mistakes. Rather than delaying funds designated for property tax relief, Gov. Christie should make millionaire’s pay their fair share and ease the burden on working and middle class families.”

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