Gov. Christie Gets $900 Million Surprise; Now What To Do With It?

Debate Already Raging In N.J.; With Property Tax Relief Possible

METUCHEN, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — The state of New Jersey has suddenly found out its got extra cash — hundreds of millions of dollars. And now the great debate: should the money be saved or should you see property tax relief?

CBS 2’s Christine Sloan has more on the $900 million surprise.

Like in many towns, Metuchen homeowners are dealing with skyrocketing property taxes. Mary Pat Domino said she can barely keep up with payments and she may be losing her job.

“I work in a supermarket right now and they’re in chapter 11. Everybody is struggling and you got to help the next guy out,” Domino said.

For Domino and others there may be some relief. On Tuesday during a hearing, legislative and budget finance officer David Rosen — a non-partisan member of the staff — told legislators the Garden State will have extra money. His projections are based on income tax returns.

“We’ve been able to increase our overall revenue forecast by $913 million,” Rosen said.

Democrats want to see the surplus go toward property tax relief for senior citizens and the middle class.

“To me, if you want to reduce taxes in the state of New Jersey the most burdensome taxes are property taxes,” Assemblyman Lou Greenwald said.

State Sen. Paul Sarlo, head of the budget committee, told WCBS 880 reporter Sean Adams that he wants property tax relief and increased school aid.

WCBS 880’s Sean Adams With State Sen. Paul Sarlo

State treasurer Andrew Sidamon Eristoff said the Chris Christie administration income tax projections are about $400 million less.

“Happy days are not here again,” the treasurer said.

He was grilled by Democrats.

“What is the governor’s plan with the impact on property taxpayers around the state?” Greenwald asked.

“The governor believes that it is important, to the extent that we have some additional resources, we invest in property tax relief,” Eristoff responded.

The governor’s spokesperson said: “New Jerseyans will see their property tax relief triple through the Homestead Benefits Program if health benefits reform gets done.”

But Republicans said there are other priorities.

“We have pension payments to make. That’s a lot less sexy and buys a lot less votes,” Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon said.

Republicans and Democrats will be negotiating at the statehouse over the coming months to determine exactly where the money should go.

Legislators have to pass a budget by June 30. Republicans said one factor that will determine their plans will be a decision by the state Supreme Court on whether the Christie administration should pay money it took away from school districts.

What do you think Gov. Christie should do with the extra money? Please offer your thoughts in the comments section below.

More from Christine Sloan
  • Jim Tucker

    Wow what a bunch of whiners and wimps.

    Keep the money in a rainy day fund.

  • Bill Almy

    The abject ignorance of some of these comments is staggering! How pathetic is it to see so many people devoid of any ability to think on their own? Rather, they just parrot the hackneyed old Dem/Lib lines without thinking or understanding what they are even saying.

    You’d think they would have learned their lesson after ushering in the Obamination in the WH and watching this once proud country be reduced to just another socialist leaning also ran.

    My only wish is that sometime – and I hope it’s soon – they will be blessed with some common sense and realize that there’s no free lunch – that we reward hard work and not laziness and that’s that’s way back to prosperity for all n this country.

  • Raymond

    use it for the presidential campaign to unseat the present emperor in washington

    • russ

      This nation cannot survive another 4 years of the Community Organizer in the White House, who never even ran a lemonade stand.

  • Beansie Dwyre

    How about just paying off a fraction of the state’s indebtedness..?

  • Mark S

    This happened in Michigan too. Republicans just happened to find about $900 million. We didn’t use it for the defecit either. I wonder how many other states are going to find $900 million? Part of the PLAN? Hiding it I mean.

  • denise

    help the senior citizens we need it

  • vincent chiavetta


    • Joe

      @ vincent chiavetta — that’s more than one word!

  • Fred B.

    Here is an answer to Mr. Greenwald’s question “What is the Governor’s plan with the impact on property taxpayers around the state?” REGIONALIZE SCHOOL DISTRICTS! The answer is not throwing money at the problem, which has been ongoing for decades. Here is another news flash, maybe the state should invest the money, (which actually belongs to the taxpayers of nj), instead of throwing it at a problem that offers zero return.

  • Vanessa Truell

    Well, i will take the high road here, and hope Mr. Christie has learned from his errors and will do right by the people of his state… If not, he will probably blow this last chance to try and reedem his character for future elections should he choose to partake in any.



  • ataxintimesavesnone

    First of all there is no such thing as extra money when it comes to the tax payer. Second there are a lot of households earning over $200,000 that live paycheck to paycheck and pay over $10,000 a year in local property taxes 50% of which is for public education. This does not include their personal income tax to the state so just because the aristocrats of NJ and the US want you to bait on tax the rich, you better take another look cause rich in NJ is not $200,000 this is the middle class. Now lets add the alternative minimum tax to this which they are also paying to the FED another tax the rich scheme. This inflates the amount owed to the state. So unless your an idiot the tax money belongs to the people who paid it. Including the teachers of this state. Government by the people for the people, this includes households that make $200,000 or more each year. So in the interest of being fair ask not what your country can do for you! Take your freedom to better yourself so you can pay the tax that should be returned to you when you pay too much. That is what we do for our country and state. Now lets investigate a productive person that wants to do more with his money than the government can. He can use this tax money to upgrade his home, enhance the life of his children. All of this type of spending creates jobs and brings in more tax revenue. Social Security is code for “Riches to the Politicians” They will have our money and be socially set you will be kicked to the street. Reform all entitlement programs and empower the people to be free from begging for a government controlled handout.

  • Shirley Ranz

    Christie wants to give more tax cuts to his millionaire friends so they can fill his coffers for futures runs for office including president.

  • Sal

    Property tax relief? No way!
    Found money means raises for everyone in Trenton!

  • stone

    Reduce the debt by the $900 million surplus and still cut costs by an additional billion to be used for property tax relief. Save another billion thru out NJ by going to COUNTY school districts like Maryland, Florida and others. DO NOT SPEND IT LIKE TRENTON HAS ALWAYS DONE> Maybe there will be future hope for NJ; anyway, Lobdell, welcome to Florida.

  • Fred

    How about a first in 15 years for New Jersey? Make a payment to the pension fund!

    • Joe

      @Fred – AMEN TO THAT! Pay back the money the State appropriated from the Pension Fund and make your payments on time – like the employees already do! You want the workers to pay more? Then the State must live up to it’s CONTRACTED responsibilities! PERIOD!

  • BC

    I meant $271 million of it. They really need to allow people to edit their comments on here.

  • BC

    $271 of it can go back to the Federal Gov’t for the rail tunnel that was never built.

  • bill lobdell

    I through in the towel a yr ago,and gave up on homeownership in nj. I needed property tax relief yrs ago.Its too late,,,were leaving this state for sarasota florida.
    The roads here are the worst in the country,dangerous to drive at night. The icing on the cake was a cold winter with two tanks of oil and only 300 off my second qt property tax bill,,,big deal. Let the younger generation take over,,,o thats right the young are too smart to own a home in nj. The banks can heat all the vacant homes and mow the weeded lawns!

    • Rugbyball

      Did you sell your house or give it up to the bank?
      If you sold, the State doesn’t care what you have to say, they replaced one tax payer for another, not a loss in there eyes. So long as more people own than rent in a state they do not have to worry about tax payer revolt by people leaving the state. Why, because you will sell your house. Built in tax revenue. Now if your state is more renters than owners, then a state better be wary!

  • Combine districts

    I Never Understand Property Tax Releif its the School Tax that Killing us and Yet every year the budgets pass. Dont blame the state, Blame yourselves for the SCHOOL TAXES NOT the Governor or other state employees.

  • Dale Auburn

    First thing, pay back the Feds for that rail tunnel that Christine never intended to build.

  • Sarcastic

    Give it to your Millionaire buddies Mr Governor

  • mark

    Let me guess, a tax break for those earning over 200,000 a year.

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