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Christie vetoes N.J. budget tax hikes, urges increase in low-income tax credit

Friday, June 26, 2015   (0 Comments)
Share | 06/26/15

Less than 24 hours after the Legislature sent Gov. Chris Christie a budget raising taxes on the wealthy and corporations in defiance of a known veto threat, the Republican governor on Friday sliced out key portions of the Democratic plan. He left intact and actually recommended the state Legislature expand a tax credit for low-income workers by 50 percent, a suggestion that  reverses his own cut to the Earned Income Tax Credit in 2010. "This is something those families need now more than ever," Christie said in a Statehouse news conference. "When I said I want to cut taxes for everyone, I want to cut taxes for everyone... We're now going to cut taxes for the working poor in this state."

The Democratic budget included an increase in the EITC from 20 percent of the federal level to 25 percent. Christie said Friday that he wants to raise the credit to 30 percent. "I think 30 percent is the way to go, and I think we should be rewarding work," he said. The governor said he red-lined $1.6 billion in spending from the Democratic budget, a $35.3 billion plan that was $1.5 billion higher than Christie's own $33.8 billion budget. Along with the budget, lawmakers sent Christie a pair of tax increases on millionaires and corporate profits. Although Democrats said they recognized the governor was likely to reject their proposal to double funding for government pensions, they nonetheless said they had an obligation to public workers. Christie said he cut the pension payment back to $1.3 billion.

Christie said the Legislature, which has sent him five increases in the millionaires' tax and three in the corporation business taxes, is "deaf and blind" to the consequences of raising taxes. "The Legislature has been unwilling at turn after turn to cut taxes for New Jersey," he said. Christie criticized Democrats for trying to raise taxes on New Jerseyans to fund a pension system that's bowing under the weight of its members own "bloated" benefits. Christie said Friday he would make the full payment if he could, but he won't burden taxpayers with the cost of maintaining "a broken system." "The taxpayers of New Jersey are not, as long as I'm here, going to be the ones that shoulder the blame for their gluttony..." he said. 

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