Schaer: Budget Committee needs to find $35 million

TRENTON – Responding to numerous business people and e-cigarette advocates objecting to Gov. Chris Christie’s proposed tax on e-cigarettes, Assembly Budget Committee Chair Gary Schaer (D-36) signaled the budget committee’s bipartisan resistance to the tax.

Electronic cigarettes not only spur commerce, but will save lives and wean people away from tobacco, according to advocates who testified this morning before Schaer’s committee.

In an attempt to raise $35 million in revenue, the Governor wants to tax e-cigarettes at the same rate as cigarettes or $2.70 per pack.

But “both sides of the aisle seem to find the e-cigarette tax not what we want,” Schaer said this morning, however,legislators will have to find something else to cut if it rejects the tax on e-cigarettes.

“This governor has proposed the tax,” the budget chairman said. “If our intention is to recommend that that not be in the budget, it will be our responsibility to find $35 million to respond with a balanced budget.” Schaer: Budget Committee needs to find $35 million