Budget Cuts Will Hinge on Revenue Projections

Sen. Paul Sarlo, Chairman of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee, said his biggest problems with Gov. Chris Christie’s proposed spending plan are the increased spending of 8 percent and the 10 percent income tax cut. Sarlo, a Democrat, sat down with NJToday Managing Editor Mike Schneider to discuss the governor’s budget address.

Sarlo said he is concerned about the income tax cut because it means a loss of $1 billion in revenue in just two to three years. He added that most residents are more concerned with their property taxes and the Budget and Appropriations Committee will offer alternative plans to the income tax cut “to ensure that the middle class receives property tax relief.”

Sarlo said he was glad some educational aid was restored, but also pointed out that the aid to school districts is still at lower levels than before Christie took office.

Christie was clear in his address that taxes would not be raised. While Sarlo said there would be no new taxes in the budget, he said, “I think you need to look at who is getting the relief. The income tax favors the wealthy.”

He said the Budget and Appropriations Committee would be reviewing the budget documents to see what programs are and are not funded in the proposed spending plan. Sarlo added that members of the Legislature want to work with Christie to avoid a situation like last year when there were competing budgets that eventually led to line item vetoes.