GREENWALD: CHRISTIE’S PLAN TO TAX SENIOR CITIZENS WITH HIGHER FEES DOESN’T EQUAL SHARED SACRIFICE

Notes Christie Plan Means $1,630 Gain for the Wealthy as Seniors Lose $1,725

(TRENTON) — Assembly Budget Chairman Lou Greenwald (D-Camden) released the following statement on Monday as the Assembly Budget Committee heard testimony on Gov. Chris Christie’s budget plan for the state Department of Health and Senior Services:

“Gov. Christie’s cuts to senior citizens cast serious doubts about his idea of shared sacrifice.

“A person earning $500,000 will save $1,630 under the expired income tax surcharge.

“Meanwhile, under the Christie budget plan, many senior citizens would lose $1,295 in property tax relief this year while paying an additional $430 in prescription drug fees.

“So under Christie’s plan, someone making $500,000 per year gains $1,630 while many senior citizens making less than $30,000 per year lose $1,725.

“That’s not shared sacrifice under just about anyone’s measure.

“New Jersey’s prescription drug programs for senior citizens are not a luxury. We’re talking about poor and middle-class senior citizens who need medication to preserve their quality of life.

“Under Gov. Christie’s plan to tax the elderly with higher fees, we’ll see senior citizens rationing drugs, getting sicker and ending up in emergency rooms and nursing homes for expensive treatment that will cost taxpayers even more.

“Our senior citizens and taxpayers deserve better.

“Every dollar found through alternative cuts, efficiencies and an economic recovery should first be dedicated toward restoring senior property tax relief and eliminating these charges against seniors.”

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