Christie continues call for tax cut, attacks credibility of OLS budget chief as war of words over revenue picture heats up

TRENTON – Despite projected revenue shortfalls, Gov. Chris Christie today said that if taxes are not cut for fiscal year 2013, it will be the fault of the Democrats in the Legislature.

While the Assembly Budget Committee was listening to dire forecasts this morning from the Office of Legislative Services, Christie blasted the credibility of that agency’s budget officer during an appearance at the annual transportation summit held at the Trenton Marriott here.

Christie called OLS budget chief Davis Rosen the “Dr. Kevorkian’’ of the numbers, and asked a room of hundreds of transit agency professionals, engineers, labor representatives, former governors and others “why would anyone with a functioning brain believe this guy?”

On Tuesday, OLS said revenue projections are down $1.3 billion through fiscal year 2013, while the Treasury said they are down $676 million through the same period.

But Christie said reduced revenue projections cannot be used as an excuse by Democrats to not cut taxes.

He exhorted those in attendance at the N.J. Alliance for Action transit summit here to walk across the street to the Statehouse and become “agitators” for passage of the year two transportation capital plan of $1.6 billion.

He implored them to apply pressure on Democratic leaders Speaker Sheila Oliver and Senate President Steve Sweeney to stop partisan politicking and pass a budget that cuts taxes.

“Tell Sheila and Steve it is time to get this done,’’ he said in referring to the volatility of the next 40 days leading up to the end of the fiscal year.

Christie hammered at OLS’ Rosen as the “handmaiden’’ of whatever party is in power. “OLS proudly puts the moniker nonpartisan on its name. That is a complete joke,” he said, imploring OLS to become a true bipartisan office.

He reminded the audience that a year ago OLS said the administration had underestimated revenues by $900 million, and that if they had passed a budget based on those numbers, then now the state would be faced with making “draconian cuts,’’ Christie said.

If the Democrats want to spend money, then OLS will tell them it’s there to be spent, and if the Democrats don’t want to cut taxes, then OLS will tell them there is no money to afford the cuts, Christie said.

He said that Treasurer Andrew Sidamon-Eristoff will deliver testimony to the Assembly committee this afternoon regarding the revenue picture.

And Christie insisted that despite OLS being manipulated by the Democrats that income taxes can be cut.

“If you do not get a tax cut this year,’’ he told the audience, “the legislative Democrats should be humiliated.”

Christie continues call for tax cut, attacks credibility of OLS budget chief as war of words over revenue picture heats up