Dems Say Proposal Was Theirs In The First Place, Add This Is About A VP Nod

TRENTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — There was drama at the statehouse on Monday.

Gov. Chris Christie called a special joint session of the Legislature to ask Democrats to pass a tax-cut plan they actually sponsored.

As CBS 2’s Christine Sloan reported, Democrats were accusing Christie of putting on a show for national attention.

WCBS 880’s Jim Smith reports

A television crew followed Gov. Christie from his office to the Assembly floor, where he asked Democrats, who control the Legislature, to immediately pass a property tax-cut plan for New Jersey residents.

“Can’t we afford to send just one-third of that surplus back to our citizens and to give them that guarantee today? I say yes,” Christie said to applause.

The plan would allow all residents to get 10 percent of what they pay in their property taxes through their income taxes — up to $1,000.

Democrats, who weren’t clapping Monday, said the governor’s emergency meeting is a campaign for the Republican vice-presidential nomination, since the property tax-cut plan is already in the budget.

“We’ve let the people in the state understand what the governor is talking about is more theater for the national stage rather than the reality that we passed a responsible budget,” state Senate President Stephen Sweeney said.

When CBS 2’s Sloan told the governor what Sen. Sweeney had said, Christie responded, “Silly, silly, silly; Stephen knows better.”

In fact, Democrats said the property tax-cut plan was theirs in the first place and that they’re asking the governor to wait until his own revenue projections come in sometime in November or December.

“If my revenue projections were good enough for your spending, why aren’t they good enough for the people’s tax cut?” Christie said.

“We are being the fiscal conservatives and he’s being the borrow-and-spend Republican,” Sen. Loretta Weinberg said.

One resident who spoke to Sloan seemed pretty fed up with the whole thing.

“I’m not a big fan of Republicans and Democrats. All they do is fight and they can’t get along. Meanwhile, our taxes get higher and higher,” said Jennifer O’Connor of Westfield.

The Democrats said they don’t know what Christie’s urgency is, since the property tax-cut plan wouldn’t go into effect until 2013.

Democrats said they’ve set aside $183 million in the budget for the property tax-cut plan.

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