Millionaires’ tax battle boils over in hearing room

TRENTON – Assemblyman Lou Greenwald (D-Voorhees) squabbles with Assemblyman Sam Thompson (R-Old Bridge), who’s testifying against the Democrats’ proposed millionaires’ tax here at an Appropriations Committee hearing in the crucible of a developing statewide budget fight between Democrats and Republicans.  

“Not one of them are millionaires,” Greenwald argues, referring to tax-strapped working class homeowners voting against South Jersey school budgets. 

A millionaries’ tax would fund programs for vulnerable people, Greenwald says. “Where this money goes is to the people who can’t afford to live here anymore.”

People making $146,000 to $211,00 and stimulated the economy are also “they’re scared to death,” adds the assemblyman.

Thompson fights back.

“No question if we continue to raise taxes, people will continue to move from here,” he argues.

“The ones who can afford to live here are the millionaires,” Greenwald snaps.

“The millionaires can move too – to Florida and elsewhere,” Thompson responds.

“It’s not fair to challenge without information from the Office of Legislative Services,” Greenwald says. They work for us, not the Wall Street Journal. If you’re challenging, you’re challenging Dr. Rosen. I just want to give you a chance to be informed.” 

Appropriations Chair Nellie Pou goes after Thompson.

“Are you telling me you’re concerned about 16,000 millionaires who would have to pay less than two cents for every dollar to help 600,000 seniors?”

“I’m concerned about the people we’re talking about here, we’re talking about millionaires, and $10 million, 20, 30, 40 million. These are CEOs, the people who own the companies and create the jobs,” Thompson says. “I can go to Pennsylvania and take my jobs with me. You’re not just talking about them, you’re talking about people who can lose their jobs., We’re going to drivie these people out of the state because they’re going to say, ‘No more.'”

Thompson and Greenwald scrap over the origin of the millionaires’ tax sunset, which Republicans gripe is the work of Democrats, seeking a political issue against the incoming GOP governor.

“At the time it expired, Gov. Christie was talking aout restoring rebates for everybody, we didn’t know he was going to cut rebates,” Greenwald says. Millionaires’ tax battle boils over in hearing room