Dueling Tax Cut Plans: Christie Mocks Greenwald’s Challenge to Debate

By Lauren Wanko

Under the Assembly Democratic proposal, residents who earn up to $250,000 per year would receive a 20 percent property tax relief credit against the first $10,000 they pay in property taxes, with 25 percent for senior citizens and the disabled. Assembly Majority Leader Lou Greenwald says the plan impacts 95 percent of New Jersey homeowners.

“We are front-loading the program by asking 16,000 individuals who make over $1 million a year, which is less then two-tenths of one percent of the population, to share some of their good fortune in this tough economy to offset the most crippling and discriminatory tax in the state,” said Greenwald.

Gov. Chris Christie wants to cut income taxes across the board by 10 percent over three years. His plan would be funded through tax collections, which the administration projects will increase greatly as the economy recovers. Revenue rose 3.6 percent since July 1, over the same period last year.

“I know Lou would like to get some more attention for himself. But you know, I’m not debating Lou Greenwald. Please, I have something better to do. I have to rearrange my sock drawer,” said Gov. Christie.

“I think really instead of the 30 second sound bites, if his plan was really as strong as he thought it was, he should accept the challenge that he put forward and stand on a stage with me so that the people of New Jersey can have an opportunity to hear the plans on their facts. The governor seems allergic to the truth right now,” responded Greenwald.

Saddle Brook homeowner Brunell Johnson says her taxes rose nearly $1,600 this year.

New Jersey has the highest property taxes in the nation, averaging $7,759 in 2011.

“There is no one that is calling us in regards to their income taxes,” said Assemblywoman Connie Wagner (D-38). “We get hundreds of phone and hundreds of emails. People are complaining about their property taxes.”

Assembly Democrats say they’ll continue to talk to residents about the proposal and begin legislative action to move the plan out of the Assembly.