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(VOORHEES) – Assembly Budget Chairman Lou Greenwald on Wednesday said the damage caused by Gov. Chris Christie’s veto of legislation to create a state homebuyer tax credit is already showing itself.
The bill (A-1678) passed the Legislature on June 10 and was written to take effect immediately, but Christie vetoed it on July 23.
Now, Greenwald noted, August tax revenues showed declines in the expected revenue that would have been directly assisted by the immediate tax credit, including 3 percent in the sales tax and 22.6 percent in the realty transfer tax.
“The opportunity to kick start New Jersey’s economic recovery was knocking, but Gov. Christie slammed the door in its face,” said Greenwald (D-Camden). “This tax credit would have immediately put people back to work, spurred economic activity for businesses and revived our housing market. Instead, just six weeks later, the damage is already being seen.”
The bill would have established a three-year, $100 million New Jersey Homebuyer Tax Credit Program under the New Jersey gross income tax for home purchases made within a year of the bill’s enactment. It passed 67-8 in the Assembly and 38-0 in the Senate.
According to the National Association of Realtors, the real estate industry accounts for more than 20 percent of the gross state product, and when a home is sold in New Jersey, income from related industries and expenditures such as furniture and appliances totals nearly $40,000.
Greenwald said the tax credit would create18,150 jobs, bringing in more than $500 million in state income tax revenue.
“Obviously many factors are in play here when it comes to the national economic problems, but this bill is clear and smart way to begin setting things straight here in New Jersey,” Greenwald said. “That’s why the veto was such a missed opportunity.”
Greenwald said he continues to look forward to the Assembly trying to override the governor’s veto.
“This legislation was overwhelmingly supported by Democrats and Republicans because it’s a common-sense measure to get our economy going again,” said Greenwald. “Gov. Christie’s veto is a job killer for New Jersey families and a drag on our economy, but we can still fix it with an override. That’s why I look forward to the continued bipartisan support needed to reinvigorate our economy, because if we waiver, it may be too late to repair the damage.”