New Jersey Governor Chris Christie campaigned on a cut taxes/slash spending platform last fall and thus far has lived up to both promises, though at the expense of the state’s lowest-income families. Making good on his pledge to cut the income tax for wealthy New Jerseyans, Christie recently said he supports cutting the top income tax rate from 9 percent to 6 percent by the end of his term.
In response to Governor Christie's tax cut proposal, New Jersey State Senate President Stephen Sweeney released an alternative plan to cut income taxes for older adults earning a yearly income of less than $100,000.
While it is unclear how much either plan will cost the state budget, both would likely have a substantial effect. An aging population in New Jersey would drive up the costs of Sweeney's bill over time. Likewise, Christie's cut would provide cuts for the rising number of millionaires in the state.
Sweeney’s approach is certainly more targeted than Christie’s and is likely to reach low- and fixed-income older adults in the state, yet both plans leave low-and middle income working families out of the picture altogether. This is especially troublesome knowing that Christie plans to pay for his tax cut for the wealthy with more cuts to state spending, which are likely to fall on the backs of the state’s poorest families and children.