NEW JERSEY 101.5

The struggle over income tax cuts resurfaces as the governor is pushing for move while many Democrats contend "the state can't afford it."

Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno (NJOIT)

The topic was brought up once again Thursday by Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno during the League of Municipalities Conference in Atlantic City.

Speaking to a room full of municipal officials, Guadagno said the next thing you're going to see a fight in Trenton about is a real income tax reduction.

Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-Gloucester), who also spoke at the keynote event, dismissed the idea of a tax cut is a "good sound bite."

"But at the end of the day, numbers don't lie, we don't have the money," he said.

He was critical of the idea, which he felt would just end up hurting towns more.

"They're [municipalities] the ones who have to give the bills to the property tax payers, they're [the municipalities] are the ones who had their gross energy receipt tax taken away. When you take revenue away from towns, there's only one place for it to go-the tax payer. So let's not play shell games," Sweeney said.

Instead, he proposes returning the rebates and Earned Income Tax that were removed first, then considering any tax cuts. He likened a tax cut now to moving money from one pocket to the other.

"We're not going to do the things that screwed the state up, like they did with Whitman that we're still paying the checks for," Sweeney said.

He called on the governor to instead focus on job creation ideas.