Christie calls for income tax cut, education improvements in N.J.

Gov. Chris Christie delivered his State of the State address to the New Jersey Legislature Tuesday.

In his State of the State address, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie called for a tax cut, education reforms, and bail reform.

The governor said Tuesday in Trenton his first priority is to reduce the tax burden on New Jersey residents and businesses. “I propose to reduce income tax rates for each and every New Jerseyan in every tax bracket by 10 percent across the board,” he said to cheers and applause. Christie also wants to restore the Earned Income Tax Credit for the working poor that was cut two years ago during the fiscal crisis.

He said New Jersey has started a comeback that will benefit everyone in the Garden State.

“The working poor, the struggling middle class, the new college graduates getting their first job, the senior citizens who have already retired, the single mom, the job creators, the parents trying to afford to send their son or daughter to college. Everyone made the sacrifice,” Christie said. “Everyone will share in the benefit.”

Democrats who control the New Jersey Legislature are reacting to the governor’s plan with some skepticism.

The proposed across-the-board income tax cut would disproportionately benefit the wealthy, said Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver.

“Someone that earns $50,000 a year would get a savings of $80.50. Someone that earns a million dollars a year would realize a savings of $7,265 a year,” she noted.

And Senate President Steven Sweeney said the tax cut would remove a billion dollars from the state’s revenue stream, and that could mean less money for schools.

The Democrats, who say it would be better to cut property taxes, also had some applause for Christie.

They are praising the governor for calling for alternatives to imprisonment for non-violent drug offenders.

The governor also said he’s renewing his call to improve the education system by revising teacher tenure, changing the charter school authorization process, and establishing tax credits for scholarships so low-income students in poor-performing schools can attend better ones.

And Christie favors bail reform that would keep violent offenders in jail until the time of their trial.

 

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