Christie Vetoes Millionaire’s Tax, Legislators Balk at Tax Cuts

July 6, 2012

The New Jersey tax relief battle between Governor Chris Christie (R) and the Democratic-controlled legislature has reached a temporary ceasefire until the end of the year. We recently reported on the special legislative session called by the governor in an attempt to push through immediate tax relief for state residents. Legislators chose not to act on Christie’s proposal—and failed to vote on it. Senate President Stephen Sweeney accused Christie of calling the session for broader political ambitions, saying, “This is more drama that’s needed for a national stage.”

In the legislative budget presented to the governor for approval, Democratic lawmakers included an additional $183 million to be set aside for the purpose of property tax relief—but only if Christie’s state revenue projections, which many feared were too enthusiastic, are met by December. In his address during the session, the governor advocated enacting immediate legislation, rather than waiting until the year comes to a close—even though taxpayers wouldn’t be able to claim benefits until next year.

For the third year in a row, the governor vetoed lawmakers’ attempt to raise tax rates on high-income earners within the state. The legislature was planning to redistribute revenue raised from this “millionaire tax” to fund income tax credits for lower-income homeowner’s property tax bills. As of now, New Jersey residents won’t see tax relief until the state revenue picture is more certain.

More on New Jersey here.

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