TRENTON – Projections by the nonpartisan Office of Legislative Services show a $254 million shortfall in state revenues for the last fiscal year.
Assembly Budget Chairman Vincent Prieto (D-32) of Secaucus, said the lower than anticipated estimates contradict Gov. Chris Christie’s frequent insistences that the state is experiencing an economic comeback.
“These numbers, when combined with slow economic growth and high unemployment, unfortunately continue a disconcerting trend for New Jersey under Gov. Christie,” Prieto said. “The shortfall means this year’s budget starts with $254 million less than anticipated, requiring even higher growth than was already assumed by Gov. Christie to meet his targets for this fiscal year. Unfortunately, we have yet to see any signs of such a so-called comeback, despite the constant spin that budget shortfalls have been tackled.
“Gov. Christie needs to finally begin working with us to devise a responsible budget geared towards working class residents. We all support tax cuts, but they must be responsible tax cuts.
Prieto said he intends to hold an Assembly Budget hearing soon to look into the chronic shortfalls, which have hit hard, in particular, working families.
“Middle-class New Jerseyans already bearing a net 20 percent property tax hike and women who have lost access to quality health care under Gov. Christie deserve answers from the administration.”