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The Twisting Of Tax Cut Plans In New Jersey [AUDIO]

Democratic State Senate President Steve Sweeney proposes a 10-percent property tax credit that is capped at property taxes paid up to $10,000 and capped at incomes up to $250,000. Republican Governor Chris Christie wants to cut incomes taxes across the board for everybody.
Steve Sweeney and Chris Christie
Governor’s Office/Tim Larsen
“Property tax relief is on its way,” says Sweeney. “Income tax cuts to the wealthy are not going to be had in this budget……I am not negotiating an income tax cut. I can tell you that right now.”

Christie had a different take when he called into NJ 101.5 FM’s Dennis and Judy Show today. He said, “The Senate President has said that he wants an income tax credit program, I want an income tax cut program. That means, imagine this: in the state where these guys were running the state for the last eight years before I got here and they raised taxes and fees 115 times, the only argument  we have left now down here on taxes is which ones to cut and how.”

Listen to Governor Christie speak with Dennis & Judi

Segment 1

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Segment 2

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This afternoon Sweeney said Christie is twisting things around. He explained, “The Governor might want to claim this is an income tax cut. It’s not. It’s a property tax cut (and) with my plan the people under $250,000 get all the money (with) his plan the majority of the money goes to people making more than $250,000.”

“It’s not about whether to cut income taxes, now it’s just about how,” explained Christie. “If I had told you this on Inauguration Day 2010 when I was staring at a $13 billion hole in our budget and I told you if we made tough choices we’re going to get to this point, and that two years later we’re here, you would have told me I was crazy.”

Sweeney’s plan 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 percent of the first $10,000 in property taxes paid. He says the only way to get the credit is through income tax returns, but it is still based on how much people pay in property taxes.

The Assembly Democrats have unveiled a plan of their own today too. Their proposal would provide a property tax relief credit, also through the gross income tax return, for all residential homeowners with incomes up to $250,000 in the amount of 20 percent of the first $10,000 in property taxes paid.

It is highly unlikely if not impossible that the Assembly plan will meet with Christie’s approval because it includes a millionaire’s tax hike. Beginning next fiscal year, the rate would go from 8.97 percent to 10.75 percent. This would impact about 16,000 out of about 2.6 million filers and raise $800 million at the plan’s full implementation in fiscal year 2016.

In his budget message, the Governor was clear on his position as it pertains to a millionaires’ tax increase. He said, “Our standing in the last two years has improved somewhat – but not enough.  We have stopped spending growth in its tracks. We have eliminated the special surtax that for a time gave New Jersey the highest marginal tax rate in the nation – and I am proud to have twice vetoed the effort to re-introduce it. And just so there is no mistake in my intention: I will veto any tax increase again.”

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