Tax amnesty program helps N.J. revenue beat Christie projections

assetContent (34)TRENTON — With some help from a year-end tax amnesty program, New Jersey’s tax collections in the first half of the fiscal year grew beyond the rate required for the state to stay on budget, according to a treasurer’s report released today. Nearly $2.7 billion in lottery, income tax, sales tax and other revenues flowed into… Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: January 23rd, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Chris Christie, Christie Administration, New Jersey State Budget, Taxes | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

O’Scanlon: There’s no silver bullet to resolve New Jersey’s budget issues

By Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon

declan-oscanlon-budgetPoliticians like to talk about budgetary issues and challenges in pieces -ignoring the big-picture, and inconvenient,  collateral effects of their proposed solutions. Even the public, and well-meaning editorial boards, fall prey to this segmentation mentality hoping there is an answer that doesn’t eviscerate their particular sacred cow.  Throw in the fact that there is a general belief in a magic bullet that will fix our budget problems and you have a dangerous mix of ignorance and irrational expectation.  It is time to clear that up.  Governor Christie is right when he says our budget problems are serious. The solutions are going to be painful.

First, let’s understand that the causes of the problem are rooted in the actions, over the last 20 years, of legislators and governors – Republicans and Democrats – who were either well-meaning, but ultimately ill-informed, or those who consciously opted for political expediency knowing their actions would ultimately bankrupt the state.  The former motivation is sad, the latter reprehensible.

Making certain assumptions about things we can and can’t fund, our structural deficit is around $6.75 billion – inclusive of $1.6 billion in transportation investment per year but exclusive of things we’d love to do like cut property taxes.

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Posted: December 22nd, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: New Jersey, New Jersey State Budget, Opinion | Tags: , , , , , | 4 Comments »

N.J. revenue growth lags behind Christie projections

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State Treasurer Andrew Sidamon-Eristoff testifies before Assembly Budget Committee on Governor Christie’s announcement yesterday to grab $2.43 billion meant for the pension system to balance the state budget. Trenton, NJ 5/21/14 (Tony Kurdzuk/The Star-Ledger)

TRENTON — New Jersey’s revenue, which last month was on track to meet Gov. Chris Christie’s forecasts, has fallen behind the 5.2 percent growth rate built into this year’s budget, according to a new report released today. After November tax collections fell behind the governor’s expectations in a number of areas, the growth rate through the… Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: December 12th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Chick-fil-A, Christie Administration, Economy, New Jersey State Budget | Tags: , , , | Comments Off

Opinion: For Gov. Chris Christie, October’s Been the Cruelest Month


repost-us-image-13906378Carl Golden In his 1922 epic poem “The Waste Land,” English poet, essayist, and playwright T. S. Eliot opened with the line “April is the cruelest month … ” For Gov. Christie, though, it’s October. This October. Consider: + For the first time in four years, more poll respondents hold an unfavorable view of him, 45… Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: October 21st, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: 2016 Presidential Politics, Chris Christie, Christie Administration, New Jersey, New Jersey State Budget, Opinion | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Analysis: Facing Budget Problems, Christie Plays Tax Amnesty Card

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Posted: September 18th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Amnesty, Chris Christie, Christie Administration, Economy, New Jersey, New Jersey State Budget, News, Taxes | Tags: , , , , , | Comments Off

Kyrillos: “Millionaires Tax” hurts the poor and middle class

By Senator Joe Kyrillos

Senator Joe Kyrillos

Senator Joe Kyrillos

Nobody ever felt sorry for a millionaire. At least that’s the principle some Democrats in Trenton are banking on as they resurrect former Gov. Jon Corzine’s “millionaires tax” to close the expected budget gap for fiscal 2015. Proponents of this tax increase promise it will hit only the wealthy, but in fact, poor and middle-class families will ultimately shoulder the burden.

Of course, the term “millionaires tax” is a misnomer. New Jersey already taxes the income of millionaires at one of the highest rates in the nation — higher than 44 other states do. The so-called millionaires tax is just an expired tax increase that raises New Jersey’s top tax rate to about 11 percent, the third-highest in the United States.

Proponents of the millionaires tax imagine that the only reason people could oppose this tax hike is that they’re worried New Jersey’s well-to-do will run low on caviar if it’s passed.

Actually, what we’re worried about is the impact on New Jersey’s working families.

As it turns out, millionaires don’t like paying high taxes any more than the rest of us do. But unlike most of us, they can easily move out of New Jersey to avoid new tax hikes. For many, changing their tax residence is as simple as spending a few more weeks a year at their vacation home in Florida. They can keep a house in New Jersey to spend time with the grandkids, live for six months and one day in the Florida home, and voilà, they are Florida residents who no longer owe a dime in New Jersey taxes. As a bonus, their children will escape paying New Jersey’s highest-in-the-nation estate tax.

It’s little wonder that in 2010, the last year we had the old Corzine millionaires tax on the books, 88,000 individuals left New Jersey, taking with them a total annual income of $5.5 billion.

The millionaires tax could be more aptly named the “Goodbye New Jersey Tax.”

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Posted: June 21st, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: 2017 NJ Gubernatorial Politics, Joe Kyrillos, New Jersey, New Jersey State Budget, NJ State Legislature, Opinion | Tags: , , | 9 Comments »

Analysis: Millionaire’s Tax to Close Pension Gap Could Be Headed To Ballot in 2015

Analysis: Millionaire’s Tax to Close Pension Gap Could Be Headed To Ballot in 2015 (via NJSpotlight)

Gov. Chris Christie vowing to veto any tax increase, Democratic legislative leaders looking for pension-funding solutions may conclude that their best option is to bypass Christie by putting a millionaire’s tax on the ballot as a constitutional amendment…

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Posted: June 16th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: New Jersey State Budget | Tags: | 2 Comments »

Christie’s pension plan puts NJ Democrats in a bind as budget deadline looms

Christie’s pension plan puts NJ Democrats in a bind as budget deadline looms (via NJ.com)

TRENTON — No one wants to be the politician who guts spending, raises taxes or reneges on a promise. But thanks to Gov. Chris Christie and a sluggish economic recovery in New Jersey, those are the choices facing Democratic leaders in the state Legislature…

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Posted: June 16th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: 2016 Presidential Politics, 2017 NJ Gubernatorial Politics, Chris Christie, New Jersey State Budget, NJ State Legislature | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Opinion: Christie’s Available Options Have Gone From Bad to Worse

Opinion: Christie’s Available Options Have Gone From Bad to Worse (via NJSpotlight)

Being governor is all about having options, settling on a course of action, marshaling legislative and public support, and then implementing it smoothly and effectively. From time to time, though, issues arise for which none of the available options…

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Posted: May 29th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Chris Christie, Christie Administration, New Jersey State Budget, Opinion | Tags: , , | Comments Off

Christie gave raises to 27 staff members this year, report says

Christie gave raises to 27 staff members this year, report says (via NJ.com)

TRENTON — Gov. Chris Christie in the last two months gave raises to the staff members who run his press shop, his schedule and his public appearances, according to a report by The Record. Of the 27 staff members who got their salary bumped, 24 are…

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Posted: May 29th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Chris Christie, Christie Administration, New Jersey State Budget | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment »