Activists are accusing Gov. Chris Christie of using the working poor as a bargaining chip to get a tax cut enacted.
The governor is refusing to restore full funding for the earned income tax credit unless the Legislature approves a tax cut.
The New Jersey Working Families Alliance says that’s endangering the well-being of a half-million of the state’s poorest residents.
“The public needs to understand that while Gov. Christie tours the country stumping for Mitt Romney or rails against Democrats for not passing a tax cut that meets his requirements. he’s holding the livelihoods of 500,000 working families hostage,” said Rob Duffey of the alliance.
A spokesman for the governor says Christie will continue to be an advocate for an expansion of the credit as part of a tax-relief plan.
Single mother Jennifer Rosado of Lawrenceville says she counts on the credit to help her buy groceries and pay her bills.
“That is a foundation for me. That’s a safety net for me. Having it reduced every year because of the changes that are going on — it’s kind of hard to sit here and still maintain a secure and safety net for my children and myself,” she said Wednesday.
Advocates are holding out hope that if the state can’t afford a tax cut, a targeted increase in the earned income tax credit would be approved.