April 12, 2010: Budget Cuts Hurt School Kids

The Monday Minutes for the next weeks will focus on spending issues in the FY 2011 budget. They will address proposals that affect different populations in New Jersey: school children, college students, working families, seniors, among others. It is not possible to analyze everything so the proposals selected will address small but important programs that have a particularly large impact on certain populations.

While New Jersey continues to struggle with the effects of the recession, Governor Christie’s budget eliminates $15.9 million in state funding for three important programs that help working families, their children and the schools they attend. If the Legislature includes these cuts in its final budget, many children will lose important, life sustaining benefits that help them from the time they eat breakfast in the morning until they go home at night.

April 5, 2010: What's revenue estimating and why does it matter?

Without an understanding of how much money is available, it is difficult to set spending priorities. This week marks the beginning of legislative debates (which differ from public hearings held around the state by legislative committees) about the state budget. The first legislative hearing is always about revenues.

March 29, 2010: Proposed budget cuts anger many at budget hearings

New Jersey citizens and groups have been packing hearing rooms throughout the state as the legislature begins public hearings on Gov. Christie’s FY2011 budget proposal. The governor has repeatedly said everything but spending cuts are off the table to close the nearly $11 billion budget gap, a move that has angered advocates for children, schools and healthcare to name just a few.

March 22, 2010: Sharing the Pain in FY 2011

Governor Chris Christie introduced his $28.3 billion budget for FY 2011 as a new way of doing business. He spent a lot of time laying the foundation for a budget that cuts deeply into the programs and services New Jersey taxpayers have come to expect. He balances his budget only through cuts and gimmicks – hurting many who already are in bad shape.

March 15, 2010: New Jersey's Corporate Business Tax: Who Pays What?

Because New Jersey was one of the last states to enact state-wide sales (1966) and income (1976) taxes, corporate taxes have provided important support for public services for a long time. Among the first chartered businesses in New Jersey were commercial banks, insurance companies, canals and railroad corporations and a few telegraph companies. By the mid 19th Century, most of New Jersey’s state revenue came from corporate taxes on a handful of railroad companies and, when the state needed money in 1884, it extended the railroad tax to other corporations. By 1900, New Jersey was known for its willingness to grant charters to monopolies when other states would not-and companies weren’t even required to be physically located in the state or to contribute to the state in any way other than to pay its tax. This happy relationship between the state and corporations ended when Delaware decided to offer the same deal but with a lower tax rate.