Last week, the Office of Legislative Services (OLS) stated that revenue collections are $540 million below the Christie administration’s targets for the fiscal year that ended June 30. The latest OLS figures bolstered support for Democrats who argue for a “wait and see” approach to the governor’s proposed tax cuts. Republican state senator Diane Allen (R-7) told Senior Correspondent Desirée Taylor that she is willing to consider tax cuts despite a shortfall.
“If we don’t have that high number of dollars, we can look back and say ‘where else do we have dollars that we have put into other things that we can hold for a period of time and still make those tax cuts,'” explained Allen. Describing New Jersey as an overtaxed state, she said residents are “hungry for a tax cut.”
The state received more bad news last week when the July jobs report came out which showed an increase in unemployment to 9.8 percent and the loss of 12,000 jobs. According to Allen, the high unemployment rate is related to the cloud of uncertainty hanging over businesses under the Obama administration. She said that many employers she spoke to want to hire but fear what a second term Obama presidency would mean for them.
“They believe that whatever happens is not going to be positive for them or for business or frankly the country … so they’re waiting to see what happens in November.”
On the other hand, she said a Mitt Romney presidency would bring “an explosion of business, investment [and] jobs.”
When the topic turned to Gov. Chris Christie and his often contentious role with the media, Allen, a former TV anchor, said “overall, New Jersey is very, very pleased with a governor who tells it like it is because we’ve had a lot of governors who’ve told it like it isn’t.”
The governor’s prominent status within the Republican party was confirmed with the announcement that he will give the keynote speech at the upcoming Republican National Convention in Tampa. Allen described the selection as something that speaks to Christie’s national stature and something in which New Jersey should take pride.
“To be offered the keynote speech position, I think, says a lot about Gov. Romney’s belief in Chris Christie and it also says a lot about Chris Christie and it also says a lot about the fact that the people in this country think he’s a rock star.”