Charging legislators with playing budget games, Gov. Chris Christie this afternoon vetoed a number of tax credit and tax set aside bills, which he said cost $600 million in lost revenue.
“We cannot continue to have this type of irresponsibility in budgeting,” the governor said at a press conference in his outer office. “One thing you won’t find in these bills is one dollar to pay for them. When we make a deal on the budget for fiscal year 2011 like we did last June a deal is a deal. And you don’t play games.”
The governor pointed out that many of the bills had bipartisan support.
“So it’s not about politics,” Christie insisted.
Assembly Majority Leader Joe Cryan (D-Union Twp.) immediately issued a statement of disgust.
“Seldom has a governor had such complete disregard for the well-being of working class residents struggling each and every day to get by,” said Cryan. “Gov. Christie may view this all as a big stage show staring himself, but the governor and his policies of hurting people are a vicious joke, with the only punch being the way the governor slams New Jersey’s middle-class and poor over and over again. Vetoes like this may continue to put him on Fox News, but they’re also going to keep New Jerseyans on the unemployment line. That’s disgusting, even for an ideologue.”
Assemblyman Albert Coutinho (D-Newark), who sponsored two of the killed bills, said, “I don’t understand why the governor won’t make job creation a top priority. I’m severely disappointed. There’s evidence my bills wouldn’t cost the state money but grow the state’s economy.”
Coutinho said he held out hope that some of the measures might be part of the governor’s budget, which Christie is due to present next Tuesday.
The bills vetoed today are as follows:
A3596/S2556 (Oliver, Wilson, Watson Coleman, Spencer/Cunningham) Authorizes local public contract set-aside program for employers who hire former prisoners
S1216/A3589 (Weinberg, Greenstein/Watson Coleman, Mainor, Giblin, Evans, Johnson) Permits small, women or minority owned businesses located in designated regional centers to qualify for loans from EDA as if located in designated urban center
S1540/A3535 (Buono, Oroho/Greenwald, Barnes, Johnson, Pou, McHose, Webber, Moriarty) Consolidates certain business-related categories of gross income and provides 20 year carry forward of certain net losses under gross income tax
S2345/A3398 (Sweeney, Madden. Greenstein/Riley, Burzichelli, Johnson, Moriarty) Expands gross income tax exclusion for pensions, annuities and other retirement income for certain taxpayers
S2373/A3418 (Vitale, Whelan/Coughlin, Lampitt, Tucker, Rodriquez) Allows corporation business tax credit and gross income tax credit for certain wages paid to qualified interns in tax years 2012 and 2013
S2394/A3531 (Sarlo/Burzichelli, Wagner, Vainieri Huttle) Dedicates revenues derived from certain sales and use subject to sales and use tax to provide enhanced incentives for breeding and development of certain racehorses in this State
S2454/A3592 (Madden, Sarlo/Quijano, Schaer, Albano, DeAngelo, Gusciora) “New Jersey Angel Investor Tax Credit Act;” provides credits against corporation business and gross income taxes for investing in New Jersey emerging technology businesses
A1676/S1646 (Greenwald, Milam, Spencer, Chiusano, Pou, Webber/Oroho, Sweeney) Provides single sales fraction for corporation business tax income allocation formula and establishes airline-specific sales fraction
A1851/S659 (Gusciora, Jasey, Greenstein, Spencer, DeAngelo, Wisniewski/Buono, Turner) “Historic Property Reinvestment Act”; provides credits against certain taxes for certain costs of rehabilitating historic properties
A2215/SCS for S2558, 2567 (McKeon, Chivukula, Pou, Conaway, Barnes/B. Smith, Sarlo, Beach) Permits developer to qualify for low-interest loan from EDA when building a high performance green building
A3353/S2545 (Coutinho, Watson Coleman, Fuentes, Lampitt, Quijano/Madden, Girgenti, Sarlo) Establishes a closing fund to provide financial resources for certain economic development projects
A3513/S2544 (Oliver, Greenwald, Voss, Jasey, Wagner, Lampitt, Watson Coleman/Vitale, Weinberg) Establishes the Workforce Shortage Loan Redemption Program
A3584/S2496 (Oliver, Cryan, Moriarty, Green, Watson Coleman. Ramos/Greenstein, Gordon) Creates “Back to Work NJ Program”; makes an appropriation
S690/A2905 (Sarlo, T. Kean/Coutinho, Quijano, Coughlin, Greenwald, Moriarty) “Garden State Film and Digital Media Jobs Act”; expands existing film and digital media production tax credit programs
Senate President Stephen Sweeney responded: “Democrats gave the governor 30 chances to make his tough talk about New Jersey being open for business a concrete reality. The governor has fumbled almost all of them.
“After several days of speaking before fawning audiences in Washington, D.C. and Florida about how New Jersey will lead the nation forward, he came home to set our state’s jobs climate back on its heels.”
And Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver said, “Today it’s obvious that the renewed pledge of bipartisanship that the Governor made in his State of the State Address was nothing more than lip service.
“The bills we placed on his desk nearly two months ago offered a broad plan to help create jobs, attract businesses, spark long-term economic growth and help our nearly half a million unemployed residents find work again.”