(TRENTON) – Assembly Budget Chairman Vincent Prieto (D-Hudson/Bergen) released the following statement Wednesday after the Assembly Budget Committee convened a hearing on a $254 million revenue shortfall from last fiscal year:
“I’d like to thank Dr. Rosen for once again giving this committee a professional presentation based on facts. Dr. Rosen is a true public servant who treats the taxpayers with respect.
“Dr. Rosen’s warning that 8.2 percent growth is now needed to meet this fiscal year’s projections is particularly concerning, especially considering how the previous growth requirement was already considered overly optimistic.
“Sadly, we only got part of the story today.
“Treasurer Sidamon-Eristoff’s failure to appear to discuss a $254 million revenue shortfall and what it means for the middle-class and poor is blatantly disrespectful to the taxpayers who pay his salary. Gov. Christie shares that blame, since the treasurer is a representative of the governor. Their decision to ignore the people’s representatives today was wrong.
“We all want a successful state, but we face major fiscal problems unsolved by this administration. Property taxes are up a net 20 percent. Unemployment is 9.8 percent. New Jersey’s economic growth is ranked 47th among the states. The administration itself has warned of a ‘significant’ surplus reduction and credit rating agencies have given the state a negative outlook.
“The governor and treasurer best remember that they work for the taxpayers, but I can only presume that the Christie administration is more interested in empty slogans than dealing with fiscal reality. That’s unfortunate and something the people of this state will not accept.”