(TRENTON) — Assembly Speaker Sheila Y. Oliver, Majority Leader Joseph Cryan and Assembly members Celeste M. Riley and Paul D. Moriarty today issued a multimedia package on legislation to eliminate Gov. Chris Christie’s plan to slash property tax relief for senior and disabled residents and ensure continued prescription drug assistance for seniors and the disabled was approved Thursday by the Assembly.
Moriarty (D-Gloucester) and Riley (D-Cumberland) sponsored the legislation (A-20) to restore property tax rebates and ensure prescription drug assistance for more than 600,000 senior and disabled residents. It passed the Assembly 46-31.
Speaker Oliver (D-Essex) and Majority Leader Cryan (D-Union) sponsored the legislation (A-10) to restore the millionaire’s tax surcharge to fund the property tax relief and ensure prescription drug help. It was approved 46-32. The leaders noted that limiting the surcharge to taxable incomes of at least $1 million would shield small business owners.
The multimedia package consists of a video of the legislators discussing their legislation, audio fo same, a transcript of comments from the legislators and a press release discussing the bills in more detail.
The audio file is available upon request.
A transcript of comments from the sponsors follows:
Assembly Speaker Sheila Y. Oliver (D-Essex):
“It is our position that asking the wealthiest in the state to pay two cents out of every dollar they earn over $1 million, so that 600,000 people can be helped; we think that that is the kind of thing people in New Jersey would embrace and do embrace.”
Assembly Majority Leader Joseph Cryan (D-Union):
“There are 16,000 millionaires, so to speak, or 16,000 households that are affected by the surcharge that we would provide today. Those same households, by the way, will only pay the same amount of tax they paid last year — in theory not an increase.
“And as a result, what would happen here is 16,000 folks would pay a little more and 600,000 seniors would gain the benefit. As a result, everyone in New Jersey wins.”
Assemblywoman Celeste M. Riley (D-Cumberland):
“It is absolutely unfair for our seniors to carry the burden of this budget when there are 16,000 millionaires out there that could actually help.”
Assemblyman Paul D. Moriarty (D-Gloucester):
“It’s a defining moment in New Jersey’s history because today we’re going to find out who stands with 16,000 millionaires and gives them a tax break this year and who stands with 600,000 seniors and disabled citizens and who wants to give them a tax break this year.
“The Democrats say that we should obviously go with our seniors and disabled citizens and give them a tax break.
“The Republicans feel that millionaires should get a tax break.
“I think it’s wrong. I think it’s unconscionable. We shouldn’t even have to be debating this, quite frankly.”
“We want to make certain before we close out this budget toward June 30 that we have guaranteed money in the budget to provide this restoration.”
The bills go the Senate for further consideration later Thursday.
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