Why Didn’t Governor Christie Propose Tax Cut? [AUDIO]
In his State of the State message Gov. Chris Christie hinted he would propose a tax cut in his Fiscal Year 2015 State Budget Address, but he didn't. That surprised many, but State Treasurer Andrew Sidamon-Eristoff explained that it all came down to money or more accurately, the lack of it.
"We have limited resources and we have significant, non-discretionary needs that we have to address," Sidamon-Eristoff said. "Ninety-four percent of the year-to-year increase in the budget will be devoted to pensions, public employees' health benefits and debt service."
The spending plan Christie detailed would be the largest budget in state history if it passes as is. Budgets are always tweaked, so the final number won't be known until the governor signs it into law. The constitutional deadline for a signed and balanced budget is midnight on June 30.
Many State House insiders and political pundits were all but positive Christie would ask for, or even demand a tax cut from the Democrat-controlled legislature. They argued that there is no downside. If Christie got the cut he would be a hero and if he didn't he could blame the opposition party. Sidamon-Eristoff said a tax cut was given "serious consideration."
"This budget represents a long process of setting priorities and making choices," Sidamon-Eristoff said. "Under these circumstance we're doing what we think is the prudent, fiscally responsible thing."