After weeks of sniping at Gov. Chris Christie’s proposed budget as a document that unfairly saddles the middle class and working poor while coddling the wealthiest New Jerseyans, Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-West Deptford) lined up numbers from the nonpartisan Office of Legislative Services (OLS) to prove his point.
“The Governor keeps talking about a budget based on the concept of ‘shared sacrifice,'” Sweeney. “But this analysis proves what Democrats have been saying throughout this process: The sacrifices in this budget are being made solely by the families who can least afford them.”
Seniors on fixed incomes of $40,000 would see their taxes rise by more than $1,300 – or an increase of three percent – while a family making $1.2 million annually would save more than $11,500, according to OLS; while a family with a total income of $500,000 would save $1,586 under Christie’s proposal and a family making $1.2 million would save $11,598.
“Once everything is added up, the average senior couple could see nearly $2,000 in higher taxes and prescription drug costs,” said Majority Leader Barbara Buono (D-Metuchen). “That’s a horrible way for a state to treat its senior citizens.”
A family of four with a total income of $75,000 would see its total tax liability increase by $1,293, and families making $200,000 would experience a $337 increase in taxes.
“It’s hard to argue with the numbers,” said Sweeney. “Under this budget, New Jersey’s middle-class families and seniors would experience a crushing increase in taxes while the richest one-percent would get a free ride. That is not shared sacrifice. It’s not even close.”