Buono: Millionaire’s tax would help fund educational platform; Christie camp cites $3B pricetag

NEW BRUNSWICK – After unveiling an extensive and expensive plan for public and higher-education reform today, Sen. Barbara Buono made it clear how she would pay for it if elected governor.

A millionaire’s tax would become a priority if she became governor, Buono said at Rutgers University here after she unveiled her education platform.

“A budget is about priorities,’’ Buono said. “My budget will reflect middle-class values.  It will reorder our priorities.”

Her platform – which includes instituting full-day kingergarten, restoring full funding for after-school programs, more tuition assistance and scholarships – would cost more than $3 billion, according to the campaign office of her opponent, Gov. Chris Christie – but Buono reiterated that her administration would reflect the values of a shared burden.

She said that during the Christie administration, there has been over a 10 percent increase in tuition.  To attend Rutgers today, it costs twice as much as a decade ago, she said.

“That social contract has been broken,’’ she said in reference to the idea that a student could rely on an affordable quality education in order to get a good-paying job that would help the economy grow.

Her running mate, Milly Silva, said “today, a student can’t even imagine the day when their student loan will be repaid.”

In firing back at Buono’s agenda, Christie campaign spokesman Kevin Roberts said that “Barbara Buono has made a career of marching to the beat of special interests, the NJEA most notably – and that is no clearer than in her being wildly out of step with reform advocates and members of her own party on matters of education and education reform.”

In addition, her campaign said that Buono’s proposed education plan “is all spending and zero reform.”

Roberts also said that Buono’s call for a millionaire’s tax would raise approximately $664 million, raising the question of where the rest of the money would be found.

Buono: Millionaire’s tax would help fund educational platform; Christie camp cites $3B pricetag