Assembly Speaker Roberts To Create A New Budget
Assembly Speaker Joe Roberts (D-Camden) and the budget committee spent until 10:30 last night creating a new state budget. Governor Jon Corzine, meanwhile, made plans to address the Legislature today at 9 a.m.
Roberts has refused to detail what the budget might include, except that it won't include a sales tax increase. Based on reports, it won’t include spending cuts either.
Assemblyman Jeff Van Drew, D-Cape May, said the plan may involve an income tax increase. Assembly Democrats have suggested ideas that include increasing the income tax on those earning between $200,000 and $500,000 year to earn $356 million. They've also suggested expanding the sales tax to services such as commercial and investment banking, architects, attorneys and accountants.Now there's a sales tax plan that will help grow the state's economy. Tax “the rich” is also a novel idea. New Jersey tax filers with incomes of $100,000 or more only pay 80 percent of the state’s income taxes now. And that top 1% of earners only pay 42 percent of all New Jersey income taxes, the freeloaders.
Republicans, on the other hand, have proposed $2 billion in spending cuts, but Democrats have consistently refused to entertain the only option that would eliminate some form of tax increase in the state’s budget.
Corzine has rejected an income tax increase and expanding the sales tax to such areas, but Roberts said the governor has to consider other ideas.Good question. Apparently, Roberts is saving Corzine’s sales tax increase for later in order to pay for his “property tax relief” plan. Corzine had set aside $530 million in this year’s budget to increase property tax rebates by $35 for most people. (Seniors will get $120 more and renters will get an additional $21 and of course, some people will receive nothing.)
"The sales tax increase is dead in the General Assembly," Roberts said. "We need to move onto other alternatives and end this shutdown."
Senate Majority Leader Bernard F. Kenny, D-Hudson, deemed most Assembly Democrat alternatives unacceptable and wondered how they could oppose a sales tax increase, yet consider expanding the sales tax to professional services.
The increase in the sales tax from 6 to 7% will raise an additional $1.1 billion. That’s almost enough to increase the average property tax rebate check by about $70, which is almost enough to cover about one quarter of your property tax increase this year.
That sounds like a good deal, doesn’t it? The Corzine administration says the sales tax increase from 6 to 7% will cost the average family about $275 per year. Only a politician, like Joe Roberts could raise your taxes by $275 to give you back $70 and call it tax relief.
Now, about that $2 billion budget gap next year…