NJ Millionaires’ Tax Hike Expected To Pass Again [AUDIO]
Here we go again. New Jersey Democrats are banking on the fact that Garden State residents would love it if the rich were forced to pay more in income taxes so they can pay less in property taxes.
Today, for the third consecutive year, the Assembly and State Senate are expected to approve a millionaires' tax increase and send the bill to Governor Chris Christie's desk. There's something Democrats can definitely bank on: Christie will veto it for the third time in three years.
"Seemingly every budget solution that Democrats offer starts with the phrase, 'First, let's raise taxes,'" says GOP Assemblyman Jay Webber. "I think this proves once and for all that Democrats in this legislature are one-trick ponies when it comes to their budget planning and proposals."
Assembly Budget Committee chairman, Vinnie Prieto, a Democrats responds, "I don't think Democrats are one-trick ponies. I think that we're thoroughbreds that work hard for the working class."
The millionaires' tax hike bill increases the gross income tax rate on annual taxable income exceeding $1 million beginning with taxable year 2012, but only if legislation is enacted enhancing the homestead benefit.
The measure raises the marginal gross income tax rate on annual taxable income exceeding $1 million from 8.97% to 10.75%. This means that the bill raises the rate of taxation by 1.78% for each dollar reported above $1 million.
Democrats say the purpose of the bill is to provide a source of funding for enhancing the homestead benefit. It's estimated the millionaires' tax increase would generate $789 million.
A companion bill makes a supplemental appropriation of $789 million from the Property Tax Relief Fund to the Department of the Treasury for a revised Fiscal Year 2013 Homestead Benefit Program for both homeowners and tenants, and clarifies the Fiscal Year 2013 appropriation act line item of $398,500,000 for the Fiscal Year 2013 Homestead Benefit Program as available as was proposed for the homeowners' portion of the overall program.
Senior/Disabled Homeowners would receive homestead benefits according to existing statutory provisions. The benefit would equal 20 percent of the first $10,000 in property taxes paid in 2011 if an applicant's income does not exceed $100,000; 15 percent if the applicant's income is more than $100,000, but not more than $150,000; and 10 percent if an applicant's income is more than $150,000, but not more than $250,000.
Non-Senior/Non-Disabled Homeowners would receive the same homestead benefits to which they are entitled under the FY 2012 appropriations act, except eligibility would be extended to homeowners with incomes between $75,000 and $100,000.
Additionally all homeowners in this category would have their rebate calculated based on their 2011 property taxes paid rather than on the 2006 property taxes paid as contained in the governor's budget proposal.
Assembly Democratic leader Lou Greenwald has spearheaded the push for a millionaires' tax hike. He says, "The Governor has to decide, is he going to keep his manic approach to protecting this fraction of one-percent or is he going to side with taxpayers around the state and give real relief?"
The Governor has made no secret of the fact that he will definitely veto the millionaires' tax hike, but he's not surprised Greenwald is pushing for it again. Christie says, "That is a man who is obsessed with raising taxes. Taxes can't be high enough for Lou Greenwald……I know Lou. He loves to raise taxes and create new taxes. That's really the bedrock of his career."
Democratic Assemblyman Gary Schaer says, "This bill is not a panacea. It is part of the solution…..Property taxes are onerous. Property taxes are absurd. We need to correct them."