Sweeney Wants Tax Relief; Millionaire’s Tax Left Out of Proposal

Gov. Chris Christie and Democrats have been at odds over Christie’s proposed 10 percent income tax cut with Democrats favoring a property tax cut that would offer greater relief for the middle class. Senate President Stephen Sweeney spoke with NJToday Managing Editor Mike Schneider about his proposal and how he wants to work with Christie to make it happen.

Sweeney said he is not considering the millionaire’s tax in this proposal because he wants to reduce property taxes for residents. He said he didn’t renounce the concept of a millionaire’s tax, pointing out he was the prime sponsor of the bill in the past. But he said the governor has made it clear that he would not sign a bill with a millionaire’s tax so Sweeney decided to give it up for now.

“It’s not that I don’t believe in it. I’m just not going to play his political games at the expense of the taxpayers,” Sweeney said.

There has been talk that others in the Senate may offer tax cut plans of their own. Sweeney said they have that right and don’t need to ask permission to do so.

“I’m the Senate President and I want to work with my colleagues,” he said. “The importance is not playing politics. It’s getting something done. It’s as simple as that. I want to bring tax relief to the middle class.”

Sweeney also said his plan has more realistic revenue projections than the governor’s using 5 percent growth instead of Christie’s 7 to 7.5 percent.