At budget hearing, Greenwald plays on divide between Rosen’s and Christie’s collection estimates

TRENTON – Right away at this Assembly Budget hearing, Assemblyman Louis Greenwald (D-Voorhees) wants state Legislative Budget and Finance Officer David Rosen to verify a shortfall in cash collection owing to Gov. Christie’s decision last year to kill the millionaire’s tax.

And a discrepancy in Rosen’s estimates versus Christie’s estimates.

“Both treasury and OLS anticipate collections will be down because of expiration of the millionaire’s tax,” Rosen says. “We expect revenues to come down because of elimination of the high-end rate.”

The Christie administration has tried to cope with the loss from department to department, Rosen adds.

Rosen admits he doesn’t think his underlying data – composed from cash assessment from the first six months of the fiscal year versus cash from the first six years of the last fiscal year – confirms Christie’s methodology.

“Your numbers have always been within a half of a percentage point,” Greenwald says.

Following Assemblywoman Bonnie Watson Coleman’s (D-Ewing) groan that the millionaire’s tax will apparently result in a shortfall of several million dollars in this fiscal year, Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon (R-Little Silver) later makes the argument that Rosen and Christie are using different accounting practices.

“As long as your numbers and their numbers add up, we’re all ok,” O’Scanlon says.

The majority attack of Christie’s GOP in a legislative election year is two-pronged, as it turns out: find a way to establish the millionaire’s tax ineffectiveness – and advance the germ of an argument that the public secotor in certain cases is more effective than privatization. 

The Democrats bemoan what they say is a $200 million plus liability on Medicaid, and Greenwald later says there’s supposed to be $50 million in savings from privatization.

“They haven’t gotten back to us,” he says, referring to the administration.

Rosen confirms that neither has he seen a record of savings achieved through privatization.