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Democrats Agree To NJ State Budget Framework

We should have a much better idea tomorrow if you can expect a tax cut this year.  State Senate Budget Committee chairman Paul Sarlo confirms that Democratic leaders in the Upper House and the General Assembly will brief members on a deal they have reached on a framework for a state budget. He says Democrats in both houses will introduce a budget bill soon.

NJ Legislature State of the State 2010
New Jersey Legislature (Tim Larsen, Governor's Office)

There are still three competing tax cut plans. Asked if the Democrats’ deal includes any of them, Sarlo says, “We’re still looking at different options on that and variations of that. That’s not been finalized.”

“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 last week. “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 spearheaded by Senate President Steve Sweeney 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.

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.

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