Tough fiscal choices await Christie in N.J. budget

    It’s another fiscally tight year in New Jersey.

    That’s the reality Gov. Chris Christie faces in preparing his state budget plan, which he’ll announce Tuesday.

    Christie’s proposed budget of around $30 billion will likely include the first phase of an income tax cut that will cost $150 million.

    Democrats complain the cut disproportionately benefits the wealthy. But Christie could revive the earned income tax cut that benefits poor working families to blunt that criticism.
    He also may adjust the formula for public education. He’s bristled that court-mandated formula requires upward of $20,000 in per pupil spending in urban districts without regard to achievement.

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    Christie also must make a pension payment of nearly $500 million. And he may revise current spending because revenues were lagging by about $300 million through December.

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