TRENTON – In cutting $900 million from the Democrats’ budget to reach the $29.7 billion budget signed today, Gov. Christie made several changes. According to the governor’s office, the budget does the following:
- · Increases state aid to school districts by $850 million over last year. This commitment to education includes the Governor’s initial $250 million increase for all school districts, meeting the Supreme Court’s mandate by providing an additional $450 million to the Abbott districts, and an additional $150 million for non-Abbott districts;
- · Doubles the Homestead Benefit to provide property tax relief for New Jersey families;
- · Increases and secures funding for New Jersey hospitals by $20 million;
- · Provides full funding for healthcare to low-income earners and the uninsured through Federally Qualified Health Centers;
- · Provides $180 million in targeted tax cuts and incentives to grow the economy and create jobs;
- · Fulfills New Jersey’s commitment to make the state’s pension fund payment;
- · Doesn’t raise taxes on individuals and job creators at a time when New Jerseyans are already subject to one of the highest state income tax rates in the nation and New York is reducing its tax burden; and
- · Preserves critical spending for senior and disabled prescription aid.
Christie also signed into law today two tax cuts that were part of his budget proposal that will eliminate the cap on the corporation business tax research credit and decrease the minimum corporation business tax on S-corps by 25 percent.
Also, Christie vetoed the bill, A4204, that would have placed the Earned Income Tax Credit at 25 percent of the federal EITC. Last year, Christie signed a law pegging the state EITC to 20 percent of the federal EITC.
He said this was a difficult decision but that the 25 percent level is not affordable or sustainable.