Unless revenues improve, Dems say N.J. can’t afford Christie tax-cut plan

Democratic leaders in the New Jersey Legislature have reservations about Gov. Chris Christie’s latest tax cut proposal.

Christie wants to give households earning up to $400,000 a year a 10 percent property tax cut in the form of an income tax credit. It would be phased in over four years.

Last year, Democrats failed to act on a tax cut, saying the state could not afford it.

May revenues will determine what the state can do, said Sen. Paul Sarlo, chairman of the Senate Budget Committee.

“If revenues are coming back so fast and so strong as they anticipate, then why are we not making the $400 million in property tax payment?” said Sarlo, D-Bergen. “That is so key, the homestead rebate program. Why are we deferring that? Why are we skipping a year?

“If we’re going to do a tax cut, we at least have to make that $400 million payment this year and a $400 million payment next year,” he said Monday.

Senate Republican budget officer Tony Bucco is hoping a compromise can be reached with Democrats to get a tax cut enacted.

Assembly Budget Committee chairman Vinnie Prieto said lawmakers are in favor a tax cut but only if revenues improve to pay for it.

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