By Desirée Taylor
Much of the media at Gov. Chris Christie’s town hall meeting in South Amboy was expecting him to address the fact that state tax revenue collections are still far below the administration’s estimates. But that didn’t happen. Christie also didn’t react to Standard & Poor’s decision to lower its credit outlook for New Jersey from stable to negative. There was also no mention about the “Jersey Comeback.” Instead, Christie continued to push for tax cuts, ethics reforms, closing property tax cap loopholes and ending sick leave payouts for public employees. He pointed out that some towns have had to borrow money to pay for this accrued sick time which can be huge sums, also derisively known as “boat checks.”
The governor also told the crowd of about 350 people that he believes towns should have to pay a price if they choose not to share services. “If we see you could save money by merging with another town and you choose not to do it … you pay the whole bill,” he said. “We’ll reduce state aid by the money you would have saved. Your town will have to pick up the whole tab for that.”
The governor said this and other proposals, including a tax cut plan, have bipartisan support. The legislature, however, has failed to act. “On three of these proposals we’ve got the governor and the senate president on the same page so you figure it should go through, right?” asked Christie. “No, because you’ve got the New Jersey Assembly who cares more about politics than progress.”
Tomorrow the governor heads to Iowa for a fundraiser for Republicans. But before that, he plans to attend Bruce Springsteen’s concert tonight at MetLife Stadium.