TRENTON – Reactions to Gov. Christie’s budget address:
N.J. Policy Perspective President Deborah Howlett
“The recession blew a $2.5 billion hole in the state budget that has never been filled. Now, the governor wants to dig that hole even deeper with an irresponsible gimmick that only benefits the wealthiest 1 percent. Proposing an income tax cut might be good politics, but it’s bad policy for most New Jerseyans.
“For most of us, the governor’s proposed income tax cut will amount to $2 a week, which will be quickly eaten up by rising property taxes. Meanwhile, the top 1 percent will reap nearly 40 percent of the savings.
Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean, Jr.
“The Governor’s budget is focused on rebuilding and improving the foundation of our economy so that it will create sustainable, private sector jobs. By holding the line on spending, reducing taxes for every working family, we can compete for jobs with every other state in America and show businesses that New Jersey is a good investment.”
N.J. Sierra Club
“Governor Christie continues to attack the environment and promote harmful policies through his 2012 Budget. This is a continuation of the damage done by his last two budgets, hurting the environment and economy. The DEP operational budget will be shrinking by close to 2%, down by potentially $4 million to $210 million. The DEP overall budget will be approximately $363 million, down from $392 million two years ago. This decrease in the budget comes as the DEP capital budget is increasing. More funds will be diverted from the DEP to close other budget gaps while DEP staff reaches historic lows.”
Sen. Anthony Bucco, Republican Budget Officer
“The Governor has continued to make good on his pledge to the people of New Jersey to force state government to live within its means while supporting important investments in our state: property tax relief, higher education, aid to local schools, support for seniors and the disabled, and improving our business climate.”
N.J. League of Municipalities
“While we appreciate the leveling of municipal property tax relief, we are disappointed with the State’s continued budgetary reliance on municipal revenues. For over ten years, regardless of political affiliation, no Administration has proposed a budget that honors the promise made to our property taxpayers, that Energy Tax and CMTRA funding would be annually adjusted to account for inflation in municipal costs.
“We commend Governor Christie and Legislative Leaders for their leadership in advancing efforts to bring discipline to State spending and in considering common sense solutions to local cost drivers. It will take courage and discipline to now wean the State off of these local revenues.
Senator Steve Oroho, (R-24), member of both the Senate Budget and Appropriations and Economic Growth committees
“Because of the responsible budgeting under this governor, we’ve stabilized expenses and helped create a sustained period of private-sector job growth these past two years in stark contrast to the jobs we hemorrhaged as a result of the policy decisions under the former administration.”
Assembly Budget Chairman Vincent Prieto
“The governor’s continued apathy for the residents in most need of our assistance in this troubled economy is deeply troubling.
“His income tax proposal is only a relief for the wealthy, while saddling working families with the highest property taxes in the country.”
Communication Workers of America, District One
Once again, Gov. Christie has presented a budget that will make the rich richer at the expense of the middle-class. The governor brags about vetoing basic tax fairness, and his latest giveaway for the wealthy would mean a tax cut of just $2 a week for the average New Jersey taxpayer and $7,200 for a person making $1 million a year. The governor also boasts about his proposed payment to the state’s pension system, but let’s get the facts straight: the payment he proposes is less than one-third of what his own actuaries say the state should pay. How many New Jerseyans would pay one-third of their mortgage bill and congratulate themselves?”