TRENTON — Confirming that much of today’s legislative efforts were ultimately for naught, Gov. Chris Christie said on 101.5’s “Ask the Governor” today that he will veto a proposed millionaires tax and other revenue raisers included in Democrats’ $35.3 billion budget.
Lawmakers in both the Assembly and Senate this afternoon passed the majority’s spending plan, which focuses largely on funding for higher education, healthcare and social services, and a beleaguered pension and benefit system. It’s one of the biggest in state history, and relies on three major revenue streams to put up a full $3.1 billion scheduled payment for FY2016.
Those streams include a “true” high income surcharge on individuals who make over $1 million a year, a one-time 15 percent surcharge the state’s on corporate business tax, and a projection by the Office of Legislative Services that predicts $700 million of increased revenue between FY2015 and FY2016. for which it puts up a full $3.1 billion scheduled payment for FY2016.
But observers long noted that those measure would likely meet Christie’s veto pen — as they did last year. Christie himself assured their fate while speaking to the show’s host, Eric Scott, saying it’s “safe to say” the tax hikes will be nixed before approving a final spending plan on June 30.
“Is it safe to safe that that’s heading for a veto?,” Scott asked, to which Christie answered, “yes.”
“Well, I’m going to take a look at everything. But I think it’s safe to safe that they have spent a lot of money that we don’t have,” Christie added.
Christie has scheduled a press conference in the statehouse tomorrow, during which he’s expected to “take action” on the FY2016 budget. He said the actual budget number will likely come in below $34 billion.
His own proposed spending plan comes in at $33.8 billion, with a $1.3 billion pension payment.
“This is what happens when the legislature refuses to negotiate a budget with me,” Christie said, calling today’s event in Trenton “showtime.”