MORIARTY: CHRISTIE’S $2.8 BILLION PROPERTY TAX INCREASE WILL HIT WORKING FAMILIES

‘Christie vow not to increases taxes came in like a lion but going out like a lamb’

(TRENTON) — Assemblyman Paul Moriarty on Wednesday said Gov. Chris Christie’s $2.8 billion property tax increase, income tax hike on the working poor and tax increase on hospitals will hit middle-class and poor New Jerseyans hard while the wealthy enjoy a tax break.

Moriarty noted that during his Tuesday budget address, Christie said, “Mark my words, if a tax increase is sent to my desk, I will veto it,” yet Christie is proposing $2.8 billion in lost property tax relief — $1.5 billion in school aid for this and next fiscal year, $445 million in municipal aid for next fiscal year and $848 million in direct property tax relief for 2010.

He’s also proposing a hospital tax, an income tax increase on the working poor and cutting off new enrollment in the Senior Freeze program that helps senior citizens pay their property taxes, while giving the rich a $1 billion tax cut. Moriarty in 2008 sponsored a new law that expanded Senior Freeze membership.

“Gov. Christie once said taking away property tax relief from people in the a recession is the wrong decision and was an assault on the middle-class, and I couldn’t agree more,” Moriarty said. “He also promised to cut income taxes across-the-board. Unfortunately, Gov. Christie is now headed in a different direction and seeking a massive property tax increase that will disproportionately hit working class New Jerseyans hard while the wealthy benefit.”

Moriarty predicted Christie’s budget will result in laid-off teachers, police and firefighters, higher classroom sizes and higher taxes.

“I wholeheartedly agree that we need to slash spending and reform public worker pensions and benefits and that huge sacrifices need to be made, and I have fought for four years to do just that,” Moriarty said. “But budgets are about choices, and so far the only choices Gov. Christie is making is to take away help for seniors and families.”

Moriarty noted:

  • 468,000 senior homeowners earning less than $100,000 received $1,295 in property tax relief in 2009, but would receive nothing this year under Christie’s plan;
  • 36,000 senior homeowners earning between $100,000 and $150,000 received $763 in 2009, but would receive nothing this year under Christie’s plan;
  • 278,000 non-senior homeowners with incomes below $50,000 received $892 in 2009, but would receive nothing this year under Christie’s plan;
  • 230,000 non-senior homeowners with incomes between $50,000 and $75,000 received $670 in 2009, but would receive nothing this year under Christie’s plan; and
  • 108,000 senior tenants with incomes below $100,000 received about $700 in 2009, but would receive nothing this year under Christie’s plan.

“The facts speak for themselves — middle-income and working New Jersey families are about to get slammed with billions of dollars in lost property tax relief,” Moriarty said. “Property taxes are the leading concern in our state, yet for working class New Jerseyans, the worst is yet to come under Gov. Christie’s plan.”

Moriarty noted this doesn’t include Christie’s plan to tax hospitals, slash college tuition aid, increase NJ Transit fares on working New Jerseyans by 25 percent and boost business filing fees.

“Gov. Christie’s vow not to increases taxes came in like a lion but is going out like a lamb,” Moriarty said. “That’s bad news for middle-class and poor New Jerseyans.”

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