New Jersey budget talks deadlocked on tax issue

    Republican Governor Chris Christie and Democratic leaders in the New Jersey legislature have some big differences on dealing with the state budget woes. Democratic leaders want a tax surcharge on the wealthy that expired at the end of the year to be re-imposed. The Governor says he will not sign a budget that increases taxes.

    Republican Governor Chris Christie and Democratic leaders in the New Jersey legislature have some big differences on dealing with the state budget woes.

    There are now some concerns a stalemate could result in a government shutdown.

    Democratic leaders want a tax surcharge on the wealthy that expired at the end of the year to be re-imposed. The Governor says he will not sign a budget that increases taxes. Republican Senator Kevin O’Toole says that disagreement threatens to prevent having a new budget in place by the start of the state’s new fiscal year.

    O’Toole: “For the first time today I was not committed to saying that the budget will be passed by June 30th. I wouldn’t have said that a couple of weeks ago but it’s growing apparent that we may be heading for a stalemate of some sort.”

    Democratic Senator Brian Stack says he’s hopeful that will be avoided.

    Stack: “I think that the Governor along with the Senate and the Assembly would do everything that we possibly could. I don’t think the public deserves that. I don’t think they would accept it and I think at the end of the day it makes all of us look even worse than what the economic situation is right now in the state. It looks like we can’t do good government and that’s what we’re here to do.”

    State government could shut down if there is not a budget in place by the end of June. Senate Majority Leader Barbara Buono and state Treasurer Andrew Eristoff are both   hopeful negotiations over the next few months will produce an agreement to prevent that.

    The last time a budget deadlock caused a government shutdown in New Jersey was in 2006.

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