NJ Budget Panel To Get Latest Revenue Estimates [AUDIO]
How much you will pay in taxes, how your kids' schools are funded and more will be decided by the State Budget.
Today, the State Senate Budget Committee will get an idea how much money the State has now and can expect to rake in this fiscal year and next. At 10 a.m., David Rosen the budget analyst from the non-partisan Office of Legislative Services (OLS) will present his estimates and at 1 p.m. State Treasurer Andrew Eristoff will give the Administration's projections.
"Today we have a very important budget hearing," says committee chairman, Senator Paul Sarlo.
"This hearing is when we are going to get a better handle the revenue projections and how the budget has been formulated and of course this year it takes on a much greater emphasis because the (Christie) Administration is forecasting 8% growth in the economy."
Governor Chris Christie's $32.1 billion spending plan is more than $2 billion above the current budget. It provides $213 million more for schools over last year. The Christie Administration is actually projecting revenue growth of 7.3% in the coming year. It is with that revenue that the Administration hopes to fund the first phase of the 10% state income tax cut which is expected to cost $183.3 million in the first year. The legislature would need to approve the tax cut.
Sarlo says, "The unemployment rate is much higher here in New Jersey than it is in surrounding states, but we're predicting an 8% growth while many of the other states where the unemployment rate is lower are only predicting 2%."
"The people have spoken, and they want lower taxes," said Christie in his budget address last month. "So in this budget, I have included the proposal I outlined for you a few weeks ago in the State of the State address. I propose to reduce personal income tax rates, across-the-board, for every New Jerseyan, by 10%, and I propose to begin the three-year phase-in of the cut with this budget. A 10% tax cut for every working New Jerseyan will help families to keep more of what they earn. It will make us more competitive with other states and attract more new jobs to New Jersey. Every New Jerseyan deserves a tax cut. Lower tax rates will relieve over- burdened middle class families. They will keep job creators here."
Democrats say Christie's across-the-board income tax cut plan is dead on arrival.