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Budget Committee Hears Income Tax Reduction Testimony [AUDIO]

Governor's Office/Tim Larsen

The state Senate Budget Committee has held a hearing on Governor Christie’s proposal to cut income taxes 10 percent across-the-board.

David Rosen, the Office of Legislative Service Chief Budget Officer, told members of the panel the income tax reduction plan – if phased in over 3 years – would deliver the biggest savings to wealthy wage earners – who currently pay the highest taxes.

Budget Committee Chairman Paul Sarlo – a democrat – said the purpose of the hearing was to dissect the Governor’s proposal -” to find out how it would affect Garden state taxpayers.”

During opening remarks, he said “I know each and every one of us here want to cut taxes…we all want to see the tax burden reduced- but we want to see the right taxes cut …I think we all agree we want to cut taxes, but why has he chosen the income tax? In New Jersey the property tax has long been the real problem. ”

Sarlo then accused the Christie administration of raising taxes for the middle class, and delivering a huge tax gift to the rich.

State Senator Tony Bucco – the republican budget officer – said “the hearing was really premature -just two weeks ago the Governor gave his state of the state address where he proposed a 10 percent tax cut- we haven’t seen a budget – we’re not going to see a budget until the 21st …when the Governor proposed the income tax cut he made it very clear that we have to have a balanced budget – a balanced budget- so can we make the 10 percent cut? Don’t know. We’ll know on the 21st… I think we’re ahead of ourselves in trying to find out what the impact of this is going to be until we actually see a budget and what the proposal will be for that budget.”

After the hearing was completed, Senate republicans issued a press release calling the hearing “much ado about nothing…a story of mass hysteria caused by a budget not yet introduced.”

Democrats put out their own release saying the testimony offered up by Rosen “showed the Governor’s tax scheme as a windfall for the wealthy with only meager savings for the middle class.”

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