STATE – With time running out for lawmakers to hammer out a Fiscal Year 2013 state budget, Gov. Chris Christie insists that it must include a tax cut that New Jersey may not be able to afford.
At a public town hall event in Galloway yesterday, Christie said, “I will not negotiate a budget with the state Legislature until they cut your taxes.”
The governor first proposed an across-the-board 10 percent state income tax cut, phased in over four years, in his annual State of the State speech. Democrats have proposed competing plans that would include state income tax credits for a portion of residents’ property tax bills.
While Christie has traveled around the state to spread a “Jersey Comeback” message, recent reports cast doubt on the health of New Jersey’s economy.
A U.S. Commerce Department report issued this month showed that New Jersey’s Gross Domestic Product shrank by half a percent while the nation’s GDP rose by 1.5 percent in 2011. Only three other states’ economies fared worse.
Meanwhile, a report issued yesterday by the National Association of State Budget Officers showed that Christie proposed the largest spending increase among the 50 states, 7.2 percent more than the current year’s budget. The average proposed spending increase is 2.2 percent.
A Christie administration spokesperson said that the governor’s actual proposed spending increase is 3.7 percent and the budget would still be smaller than the one in place when the governor took office.
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