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Greenwald: This Tax Day, Christie Should Stop “Carrying the Banner of the Richest & Most Powerful” And Support 20% Middle-Class Property Tax Relief

Today Assembly Majority Leader Louis Greenwald (D-Camden/Burlington) released the following statement in anticipation of the IRS income tax filing deadline on Tuesday, April 17:

“Tomorrow’s tax filing deadline provides middle-class families with yet another reminder of the Christie administration’s misguided tax scheme that showers new benefits on the wealthy while giving middle-class families less than a grocery bill’s worth of relief.

“In effect, the Governor’s plan provides a boatful of new tax breaks to millionaires without so much as throwing a life preserver to New Jersey’s middle-class families drowning under high property taxes that have gone up 20 percent under his watch.

“Our plan provides 20 percent property tax relief and 25 percent to senior citizens and this disabled. Our plan pays for property tax relief to 95 percent of New Jersey households by eliminating the tax handouts that 16,000 of the 2.6 million New Jersey tax filers who make over $1 million per year have enjoyed under this Governor.

“This Tax Day, Governor Christie should stop obstructing real property tax relief and stand with New Jersey’s middle-class, not just Wall Street CEO’s and Iowa Republicans.”

What They’re Saying About Property Taxes

Home News Tribune:
“We’ve come to a remarkable place in New Jersey’s history in 2012, when so many of our tax policies and surrounding discussions seem so heavily focused on one goal: protecting the state’s wealthiest residents…Christie’s not alone in this crusade, carrying the banner of the richest and most powerful…

“But as the state seeks corrective measures to bring relief to those most in need, we’re supposed to pretend that a small tax hike on incomes over a million dollars that would help the middle-class…should give us pause? Why?”

Source: Editorial, “‘Millionaire’s Tax” Shouldn’t Be such a Hard Sell, 3/29/12

Star Ledger:
“The income tax cut he proposes would disproportionately benefit the rich, as the nonpartisan Office of Legislative Services has said. Since the wealthy pay a significantly higher rate under the state’s progressive tax system, they’ll see greater savings.

“For the rest of us, the governor’s big ‘fix’ would translate to less than $25 a month in savings, on average. That’s like a stocking-stuffer gift card. Not any real relief for middle-class families struggling more than ever under the weight of our state’s property taxes, still the highest in the nation.”

Source: Editorial “NJ Should Focus Relief on Property Tax, Not Income Tax”

Charles Stile, The Record:
“Christie’s proposed 10 percent, across-the-board income tax cut is being marketed as the crowning achievement of the purported comeback. Maybe it should more accurately be sold under another slogan, the “Tampa-Bay Tax Cut.” For the average voter, the tax cut will barely yield enough money for a tank of gas. But for Christie, it’s political gold, a chance to cruise into Florida for the Republican National Convention in August.”

Source: Stile, “Christie’s Moves Hint of Ambition for VP Spot”, 3/29/12

Asbury Park Press:
“Under the Assembly Democrats’ Plan, the property tax credit would be phased in over four years. In the first year, residential property owners with incomes up to $250,000 would be eligible for a credit of 20 percent–25 percent for senior citizens–of the first $5,000 paid in property taxes. At the end of four years, those residents would receive a maximum credit of 20 percent of the first $10,000 paid in property taxes, Greenwald said. Senior citizens would be eligible for a credit of up to 25 percent of the first $10,000 paid in property taxes when the plan is fully in force, he said.

“That would translate to a savings of about $1,552 for the average taxpayer when the plan is fully phased in…”

Source: Bowman, “NJ Assembly Dem: 20 Percent Tax Credit If We Hike Millionaire’s Tax”, 3/28/12

NJ Spotlight:
“With property tax credits and rebates included, the average New Jersey homeowner paid $7,519 in net property taxes last year–compared with $6,244 in 2009…That $1,275 increase represents a 20.4 percent hike in net property taxes…”

Source: NJ Spotlight, “Net Property Taxes Up 20 Percent Under Christie”, 1/30/12