Every Tax Cut Plan Is Down, But Not Quite Out As Revenues Sag [AUDIO]
There are still three competing tax cuts plans being floated at the State House, but they all cost money.
The Office of Legislative Services now estimates that over the next 14 months state revenues will lag $1.3 billion behind Governor Chris Christie's projections. State Treasurer Andrew Eristoff expects the budget gap to be about $676 million. Both of the estimates put all three tax cut proposals in jeopardy.
Governor Chris Christie wants to cut income taxes by 10% for every New Jerseyan. Senate Democrats want to cut property taxes by 10% and Assembly Democrats have a plan they say can provide a 20% property tax cut for those who need it most. The latter plan would be partially funded through a millionaires' tax increase that Christie vows to veto.
After hearing the poor projections yesterday, Assembly Budget Committee chairman Vinnie Prieto was asked if the state can afford the Assembly Democrats' proposal. He said, "That's what we've been touting, but now we're going to look at all these numbers and we're going to see if it's feasible…..Right now, we have to look at the numbers. It doesn't appear that the money is there right now."
Preito was also asked if he would support a budget that doesn't include any tax cut at all. He responded, "We're going to be looking at that. It's difficult to say. We're just getting all of these numbers…..Everything is on the table right now, or off the table I should say."
In his testimony before Prieto's committee yesterday, State Treasurer Andrew Sidamon-Eristoff defended Christie's income tax cut proposal by saying, "In our view, investing in a modest across-the-board income tax cut that will improve New Jersey's long-term economic competitiveness is and ought to be a top policy priority for New Jersey."
Assembly Democratic Leader Lou Greenwald says, "The truth is, there is only one person obstructing real, significant property tax relief for 95 percent of middle-class families and seniors - and that's Governor Christie with his obsession for tax breaks for millionaires."