After listening to Gov. Chris Christie’s speech about an immediate call for tax relief during a special legislative session Monday, Democrats said his plan doesn’t do enough to help working class New Jersey families. They also said they would offer residents a tax cut when they were sure the revenues were available to support and sustain the cut.
Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver said the Assembly never accepted the governor’s income tax cut plan. “We focused on real property tax relief for residents,” she said. She explained that Christie’s tax cut plan would have given the average family in the state approximately $20 in 2013 after filing taxes. Since the plan was to phase in the reduction over the next three to four years, she said the average working class family would receive about $80 at the end of that period.
Oliver said the Democrats would be willing to give tax relief, but only after knowing there is enough money to support and sustain it. “Without revenue targets being stabilized, we will find ourselves in a situation where we will not have enough revenue to meet the divergent requirements that are placed upon us, some statutorily and others because they are priorities for us in New Jersey,” she said. “The issue gets to be revenue, affordability and the Democrats in the Assembly are more than willing to effectuate a plan, but not until we settle this issue of revenue.”
Assembly Majority Leader Louis Greenwald said Christie has failed to offer tax relief to working families in the past and continues to oppose the so-called millionaire’s tax. “The only consistency Gov. Christie has shown is his devotion to protecting the mega rich and the wealthy,” Greenwald said. “New Jerseyans deserve better than this manic zeal to protect tax cuts for this mega rich population.”
Greenwald said the governor embraces a plan that would provide less tax relief to the average family than the Democrats’ plan that would offer between $2,000 and $2,500 in property tax relief, which he said would stimulate the economy more than Christie’s plan that would offer between $20 and $106 this year for families.
“To offer the people of New Jersey what he has offered them in property tax relief after he has vetoed real and substantial relief for New Jersey’s families is an insult to the families that we represent. The fact of the matter is that the small pittance that he offers them would not fill up their gas tank on the way to the Jersey Shore,” Greenwald said. “He cannot allow his personal ambition to step aside for a moment so we can address the real problems in the state of New Jersey.”