Gov. Christie Introduces Tax Plan That Gives 40 Percent of Its Benefit to the Richest One Percent

Pat Garofalo
Think Progress / News Report
Published: Wednesday 22 February 2012
“The middle class is likely to hardly notice Christie’s cut, as it would give just $80 annually to a households making $50,000.”

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) today formally announced his intention to implement a 10 percent cut in New Jersey’s income tax. “Lower tax rates will relieve over-burdened middle class families,” Christie said in his annual budget address.

However, the middle class is likely to hardly notice Christie’s cut, as it would give just $80 annually to a households making $50,000. In fact, according to New Jersey Policy Perspective, President Deborah Howlett, 40 percent of the benefit of Christie’s tax cut will go to the state’s richest 1 percent:

The recession blew a $2.5 billion hole in the state budget that has never been filled. Now, the governor wants to dig that hole even deeper with an irresponsible gimmick that only benefits the wealthiest 1 percent.

Proposing an income tax cut might be good politics, but it’s bad policy for most New Jerseyans.

For most of us, the governor’s proposed income tax cut will amount to $2 a week, which will be quickly eaten up by rising property taxes. Meanwhile, the top 1 percent will reap nearly 40 percent of the savings.

The state’s tab for this tax cut will ultimately be $1.1 billion, and that money has to come from somewhere. While the governor seems to think it will come from his pie-in-the-sky revenue projections, it’s hard to imagine the state’s stagnant economy will turn around quite so quickly.

Already, according to the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP), New Jerseyans in the bottom 20 percent of earners pay 10.7 percent of their overall income in taxes, whole, those in the top 1 percent — with an average income of $2,258,300 — pay 7.2 percent. Christie’s income tax plan certainly won’t add any progressiveness to the code, though it will help those at the very bottom of the income scale via an increased Earned Income Tax Credit.

As Blue Jersey’s Bill Orr noted, tax collections in the Garden State are already off $325 million through the first six months of the current year, so “the governor is in no position to arbitrarily call for a self-inflicted wound through deliberately reducing the State’s income stream.” Christie’s tax cut will cost about $1.3 billion when it is fully phased in in four years.



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ABOUT Pat Garofalo

Pat Garofalo is Economic Policy Editor for ThinkProgress.org at the Center for American Progress Action Fund. Pat’s work has also appeared in The Nation, U.S. News & World Report, The Guardian, the Washington Examiner, and In These Times. He has been a guest on MSNBC and Al-Jazeera television, as well as many radio shows. Pat graduated from Brandeis University, where he was the editor-in-chief of The Brandeis Hoot, Brandeis’ community newspaper, and worked for the International Center for Ethics, Justice, and Public Life.

Christie poops 8.7 pounds per

Christie poops 8.7 pounds per day.

He should have to pay extra for sewage treatment. I'm just saying.

hah! They can keep their

hah! They can keep their mega-millions and live in the corrupt cesspool NJ has become! Pretty soon they'll run out of enough working class suckers to keep paying the tab for all those crab sandwiches. Then all they'll be left with is the constant threat of break-ins by impoverished crackheads.

I'm all for New Jerseyians moving and re-establishing themselves somewhere they can actually have a savings account again and a full tank of gas -- because if you can afford to fill 'er up these days, you're nouveau rich!

Christie is the very image of

Christie is the very image of "fat cat".

While it may be true that

While it may be true that severe belt tightening is needed sometimes to get finances in order, what PP does is tightens the reins on spending while giving the store away in tax cuts to the rich. His tax cut is just another sop to wealthy backers of this roly-poly excuse for a human being. I would love to hear a serious debater talking with him, one who would not be upset by his rudeness. Well, maybe he was bullied as a kid and is merely striking back against all those who called him porky.

Christie as most republicans

Christie as most republicans seem to be brown nosing, I hope the kick back enough to him to keep his family going after they destroy democracy.

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