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NJ Revenues $230 Million Below Estimates For Current Fiscal Year

New Jersey tax collections for Fiscal Year 2012 are up from the same period last year, but April results are $60 million below Governor Chris Christie’s expectations. This leaves State revenues $230.3 million behind February’s revised forecasts for the first 10 months of the fiscal year.

Chris Christie, New Jersey Governor
Governor's Office/Tim Larsen

“While April’s revenues were somewhat below expectations, reliable indicators show that New Jersey’s economy continues to grow,” says Dr. Charles Steindel, Treasury chief economist. “Economic growth has brought in more revenue for the state in Fiscal Year 2012 than in 2011, which is a good sign for the future.”

April income tax collections were $1.73 billion compared to $1.75 billion in Fiscal Year 2011. Sales taxes were $732.8 million, up from $705.8 million. Corporation business taxes were $463 million, down from $547.1 million.

“Today’s revenue report is the latest evidence of why Gov. Christie’s proposed income tax scheme is wrong for middle-class families,” says Assembly Democratic Leader Lou Greenwald. “Not only does the Governor’s plan to shower $7,000 in tax break handouts to millionaires while giving crumbs to the middle-class, but it’s now becoming clear the governor has built his plan on a shaky foundation. New Jersey’s middle-class families need more than fuzzy math, a hope and a prayer. They need real property tax relief they can count on.”

Christie proposes a 10% income tax cut for every New Jerseyan. Senate Democrats propose a 10% tax cut based on property taxes up to the first $10,000 for those earning less than $250,000. Assembly democrats, led by Greenwald want a 20% cut with the saving realized through the similar Senate plan with the additional 10% reduction being funded by an income tax increase on millionaires. Christie says Greenwald’s plan is dead because he vows to veto a millionaires tax hike bill as he has twice before.

Word in the State House yesterday was Christie and State Senate President Steve Sweeney had struck a deal to essentially going with the Senate Democrats’ plan, but raising the threshold to $400,000. A press conference schulded for yesterday was scrapped. The official reason is Sweeney underwent a minor medical procedure and wasn’t feeling well. Sources say some Senate Dmocratic leaders weren’t happy with the agreement and Assembly Democrats were holding firm to their proposal.

“By asking millionaires and billionaires to give up the tax breaks they have enjoyed during the past two years, the Assembly Democratic plan has a more fiscally responsible funding mechanism,” insists Greenwald. “As a result, our plan delivers real property tax relief to 95 percent of homeowners, not just a town hall slogan built on a house of cards.”

An emailed release from the Governor’s press shop reads, part, “Particularly when it comes to the end of the current fiscal year, the fact that there are two months left of revenue and three months of sales to report cannot be ignored. Meaning the urge to hastily generalize a single month’s report over the remainder of the year would paint an incomplete picture at best.”

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