Despite N.J. revenue shortfall, Christie still pushing income tax cut

The Christie Administration is still intent on an income tax cut despite lower than anticipated revenue in the Garden State.

New Jersey revenues are growing but not as much as expected, state treasurer Andrew Eristoff said  Wednesday. In testimony before the Assembly budget committee, he said an income tax cut still makes sense.

“Investing in a modest across-the-board income tax cut that will improve New Jersey’s long-term economic competitiveness is and ought to be a top policy priority for New Jersey,” he said.

Assembly Majority Leader Lou Greenwald, D-Camden, said he’ll continue to push for a property tax credit and a tax surcharge on millionaires to help fund it — even though Gov. Chris Christie has said he won’t sign any tax increase.

“It doesn’t matter how much the governor stomps his feet,” Greenwald said. “The reality is the people of New Jersey have had enough and the want real relief.”

Eristoff also said the Christie administration will deal with a revenue shortfall in the next fiscal year by holding the line on salary increases and using about $295 million in Turnpike Authority money that was intended for transportation projects.

Assemblyman Vinnie Prieto, chairman of the budget committee,is not happy with that prospect..

“I found that troublesome to take money from something that is supposed to be dedicated for a function … that being in the general fund, it’s troubling,” said Prieto, D-Hudson. “It should be insulated.”

When it comes to fulfilling its commitment to provide $1.6 billion a year for transportation projects, the treasurer says the state will rely more on borrowing. That’s something the governor had hoped to reduce.

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