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Christie Delivers NJ Budget Address

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie presented his annual budget Tuesday. He pushed for a 10 percent income tax cut, which would be phased in over the next three years and cost almost $1 billion.

Christie's $32.1 billion budget for fiscal year 2013 includes the following, according to a Treasury Department briefing paper:

• 10 percent income tax cut across the board.

• Increases the Earned Income Tax credit for the state's working families from 20 to 25 percent for an average benefit of $495 per household.

• More than $393.2 million in higher ed student assistance.

• Funds the governor's initiative to require mandatory drug court alternativess for non-violent offenders.

• Christie will increase State Aid to education "to the highest level in NJ history." He will boost aid to the state's public schools by $213 million for a total of $8.87 billion.

• Higher education gets a $108 million boost for a total of $2.08 billion.

• Re-organizing how the state delivers social services for families, women, children and seniors.

Frank Belluscio, spokesman for the New Jersey School Boards Association, said he was "generally happy" with the governor's proposal to increase school aid. He said it will help fund education programs and provide property tax relief.

“When there is insufficient state aid, districts find that they do have to budget up to the cap that's allowed by the state," he said. "Or, sometimes they have to ask voters to approve an expenditure over the cap. So state aid is very much a property-tax control vehicle.”

The governor also proposed expanding a program that focuses on long-term social and vocational rehabilitation for former service members.

Christie said he wants to use Hagadorn Psychiatric Hospital in Hunterdon County's Glen Gardner as the future location for the Veterans Haven North program.

The psychiatric hospital is due to close in June.

Christie says the program has proven successful so far. He has proposed providing additional money in the next budget for it to expand.

The governor and the legislature have until the end of June to reach a budget deal.

With reporting by Bob Hennelly and Annmarie Fertoli

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Comments [7]

He needs to get his stomach stapled.

Feb. 21 2012 05:21 PM
karina from Hoboken, NJ

He is so bought, I don't even listen to him anymore. Nothing he says holds any value, he is a cog in the machine of the super conservative PACs. He is bought. Most of the governors and senators are.

il doit y avoir un vrai changement pour le peuple américain ou il sera simplement continuer à s'aggraver...

Feb. 21 2012 04:45 PM
Political Pop from america

can he budget his own diet?

Feb. 21 2012 12:57 PM
Doug from Morris County

New Jersey needs to cut all public services to bare bones. I have a 1,200 sqft 2br condo in Morris County and my property are 10.5k annually. I'm contemplating leaving the state very soon. Tax rates need to be brought down from 2.65% to something more affordable such as 1.5%.

Feb. 21 2012 11:14 AM
Karen from NYC

I wish someone would ask him about the continued costs to the NJ taxpayer of the old Giants stadium which they are apparently still on the hook for. No one talks about this.

Feb. 21 2012 10:47 AM
Aaron Beth from Nutley, NJ

I would rather see a property tax cut as opposed to income tax. Income tax cuts only help people who are earning money.

Feb. 21 2012 10:39 AM
Robert from Bayonne

Christie 10% income tax cut is unfair to lower and middle-class New Jerseyans. Statistics show that the middle class pay 6% of their income toward property tax and only 1.6% to pay income tax. A flat 10% <a href="http://truetaxfacts.com/new-jersey-income-tax-cut-proposal-would-help-the-rich">NJ income tax cut</a> saves someone earning $50,000 a year only $80 but close to $7,2650 for $1 million earners. Now tell me, who needs the money the most?

Feb. 21 2012 04:12 AM

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