Sarlo: Restore Homestead rebates if revenues are so good

TRENTON – Before the budget committee got under way, Budget Committee Chair Sen. Paul Sarlo, (D-36), Wood-Ridge, questioned the Christie Administration’s desire for a tax cut today.

Before this morning’s budget hearing commenced, he said that if revenues are coming in as quickly and as salubriously as the administration says they are, why not put the money toward the $400 million in homestead rebates.

“Why are we delaying them,” Sarlo asked rhetorically. 

In his budget address, Christie announced he was going to delay the Homesetead tax rebates until later in the year, essentially into the next fiscal year.

“We’re going to evaluate, the May revenue figures will be a telltale sign,” Sarlo said. 

Christie this morning called for a tax cut plan, arguing that Democrats have no reason to oppose one because revenues can support it. Last year, Democratic leaders said they would oppose a tax cut proposal if revenues came in shorter than anticipated.

Christie’s plan calls for a 10 percent tax credit against their property tax bill. It’ is largely similar to the proposal Senate President Steve Sweeney proposed last year. 

The governor’s plan caps the tax credit to $10,000 and all homeowners with income below $400,000 will be eligible for the relief that is to be phased in over four years.

In addition, the plan calls for the following:

*An increase in the so-called “Renter’s Credit” from $50 to $100 for tax year 2013, rising to $200 by tax tear 2015; and;

* An increase in the earned income tax credit to 25 percent of the federal tax credit.

  Sarlo: Restore Homestead rebates if revenues are so good