TRENTON, NJ (CBSNewYork) — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie delivered his State of the State address Tuesday afternoon and proposed some big tax cuts for Garden State residents.
Christie is proposing a 10 percent cut in every income tax bracket, which the governor says will provide direct relief for struggling families and small businesses and put more money in their pockets.
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“In my budget, I will fulfill a promise I made to all the people of New Jersey in 2009. Real relief from the heavy income tax burden that has strangled our families and forced many to move away. I propose to reduce income tax rates for each and every New Jerseyan. In every tax bracket. By 10% across the board,” Christie said.
Democrats Critical Of Tax Cut Proposals. WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond Reports.
The proposed cuts could begin in January 2013 and be phased in over three years. The governor says the new rates will make New Jersey more competitive and lift the burden on small businesses.
“This will send a loud signal to New Jerseyans and would-be New Jerseyans, to families here now and families who have left, to businesses and job creators thinking of coming here and those who have struggled to stay: New Jersey is once again a place to plan your future, raise your family, grow your business and someday retire. The New Jersey comeback has begun,” Christie said.
Democrats, however, say an income tax cut will take away money from schools that rely on aid and it will only benefit the rich.
“We’re not going to support giving any more, any more millionaires. He’s already coddled the millionaires in the state,” Sen. Stephen Sweeney said.
Democrats claim an average middle-class family will save just over $200 a year. In addition to his proposal, the governor also signed a bill into law that would allow betting on sports teams in Atlantic City and at race tracks.
“It would be more jobs. You know, people would have something to do,” Kenny Goodwin, of Trenton, said.
The bill’s sponsor says sports betting will pump millions into the ailing casino industry, but the state has to fight a federal ban first.
“When we win our case in court, next year this time, you will be able to bet on the Giants or the Eagles — even the Jets,” Sen. Ray Lesniak said.
The governor is also proposing fully restoring the earned income tax credit for the poor. Democrats say they support the idea.
Meanwhile, Christie has popular support on many issues, says Peter Wooley, director of the Fairleigh Dickinson PublicMind Poll.
“Here we have a governor, who in very poor economic times, has taking an axe to the budget and has survived in the public approval ratings despite that,” said Wooley.
Christie maintains a 53 percent approval rating even after outrage over a 50 percent increase in New Jersey Turnpike and Garden State Parkway tolls.
Christie’s speech was originally scheduled one week ago, but it was delayed because of the death of Assembly minority leader Alex DeCroce.
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