Democrats Agree on New Jersey Budget Plan

Lawmakers standby and wait to see if the state budget will include a tax cut, and if so, which one

Democratic leaders in the Senate and Assembly have reached agreement among themselves on a framework for next year's state budget.

But they're not releasing any details on the spending plan just yet. They will present it to the other lawmakers in the majority party on Thursday.

Assembly Budget Committee Chairman Vincent Prieto says no final decisions have been made pending input from rank-and-file Democrats in both houses.

The biggest question is whether the Democrats' budget will contain a tax cut, and if so, which one. Gov. Chris Christie has proposed slashing income taxes 10 percent. Democrats want to focus on property tax relief.

Senate President Steve Sweeney has proposed a credit equal to 10 percent of a resident's property tax bill, capped at $1,000. The Assembly wants a surcharge on millionaires to boost the credit to 20 percent and cap it at $2,000.

Some lawmakers have suggested delaying tax relief until the state is in a better position to afford it. New Jersey's economic recovery has lagged other states and revenue collections have underperformed expectations.

A balanced budget must be adopted by June 30 or state government technically runs out of money and nonessential services would shut down.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
Contact Us