Twice in a matter of days, Gov. Christie had an opportunity to reverse his 2010 decision to raise taxes on 500,000 working poor families. Both times the governor came up short.
First, on Friday the Governor vetoed legislation that would have immediately restored the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) to 25 percent of the federal credit – the level it was before he took office. In the veto message the governor repeated his support of the bill’s concept, but not unless “presented as part of a broad-based, bipartisan tax relief plan.”
It’s unfair that the governor holds these 1.5 million New Jerseyans hostage until a broader tax-cut-at-any-cost is enacted. Worse was his rejection of the Democratic proposal in Monday’s speech to the special session he called pleading for bipartisanship.
In his latest tax cut bill (the conditional veto of the millionaires’ tax), the governor again delayed the restoration of the EITC to pre-Christie levels until the tax returns filed in April 2014 while pushing for immediate tax relief for homeowners. It defies logic that the governor would pursue a more expensive tax cut before reversing his only tax hike, which can be done at a fraction of the immediate cost ($50 million instead of $180 million).
Under the proposal presented by the governor last Monday, a homeowner with an income of $400,000 would receive a paltry (to them) $100. Two-thirds of the 500,000 families with EITC qualifying incomes will receive nothing since they are renters and will not qualify for the $50 increase in the “renter’s credit” to be granted in April 2014.
For a governor who sees tax cuts as the answer to just about everything, it is ironic that he will not reverse the tax increase he imposed on 500,000 working families, struggling to survive in the mythical “New Jersey Comeback.”
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