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Tax Hike Talk in Trenton [AUDIO]

The Star-Ledger reports that Assembly Speaker Vinnie Prieto (D-Secaucus) is open to considering a gas tax increase and reinstatement of the millionaires’ tax, in addition to looking for ways to cut government spending.

NJ Assembly Speaker Vinnie Prieto
State Asm. Spkr. Vinnie Prieto (David Matthau, Townsquare Media NJ)

The top Republican in the Assembly said Prieto should probably just focus on that last part.

“I’ll make this real simple: no new taxes,” said Assembly Republican Leader Jon Bramnick (R-Westfield). “New Jersey is already one of the highest-taxed states in the country. We will not tax ourselves out of the economic problems that we face.”

The Ledger also reports that Prieto is not opposed to discussing a fee on water use, and he would be willing to consider reducing the state’s workforce in order to help balance the budget.

Bramnick said he supports Prieto’s openness to finding spending cuts, but he cannot and will not back any proposals to increase taxes or fees.

“I have a great personal relationship with Vinnie Prieto,” Bramnick said. “I just fundamentally disagree with him on the concept of tax and fee hikes. I don’t think this governor is going to raise taxes on anyone, and I don’t think the members of my caucus would support an increase in fees or taxes.”

Both on the campaign trail and in office, Gov. Chris Christie has consistently promised he would never raise taxes. Bramnick said he doesn’t think Christie would break that pledge.

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