N.J. faces ‘tough choices’ after $800 million revenue shortfall in April

The state’s budget gap in New Jersey is widening, and lawmakers are trying to figure out what to do about it.

April’s income tax revenues from the state’s wealthiest residents are far less than expected, and the overall shortfall for the current fiscal year is $800 million below the Christie administration’s projections.

Lawmakers will have to make some tough choices, said state Sen. Tony Bucco, the ranking Republican on the Senate Budget Committee.

“We’re going to have to be looking at some cuts. The potential of new spending is slim to none,” said Bucco, R-Morris.

  • WHYY thanks our sponsors — become a WHYY sponsor

Budget Committee chairman Paul Sarlo said there are only about eight weeks to make adjustments to balance the budget.

“Once we rebalance the current fiscal year, that lowers the base amount of revenues that we will be receiving in the proposed fiscal year,” said Sarlo, D-Bergen. “So our proposed fiscal year budget needs to be rebalanced as well.”

Lawmakers said they don’t expect the state to reduce its payment into the pension system to help make up for the revenue shortfall.

But Gov. Chris Christie said Tuesday that nothing is off the table to fund ways of balancing the state budget after the April drop in revenue.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal