N.J. Gov., Lawmakers Reach Deal on Budget
July 6, 2006, 6:12 PM EDT
TRENTON, N.J. — New Jersey’s governor and lawmakers reached a deal Thursday on a new state budget, six days into a state government shutdown that shuttered casinos and threw more than 80,000 people out of work.
Gov. Jon S. Corzine said a government shutdown that closed casinos and furloughed thousands of workers will end in the next 24 to 36 hours. Budget bills first must pass both the Senate and Assembly, he said.
Corzine cautioned that the budget accord was not cause for celebration, because too many residents’ lives were disrupted.
“We have much more to do in the coming months and years to fix our state’s public finances,” he said.
The deal will increase the state sales tax from 6 percent to 7 percent and use half the $1.1 billion that it will raise to help lower property taxes, which are among the highest in the nation. It allows the possibility that, in future years, the entire increase will go to property tax relief.
Though nothing is impossible, my response to the previous sentence is “fat chance.” ABP says the state’s most recent budget increased spending by almost 10%.
The funny thing is that the only way the state will get the expected 16.7% increase in sales tax revenues it is probably expecting is if the Bush tax cuts finally help even a basket case like New Jersey get over the economic hump.