Gov. Christie: New Jersey’s Economy Is On The Right Path

Transcript:

Governor Christie: For eight years now there have been no tax increases at the state level in the State of New Jersey. No net tax increases for eight years. This has not happened in the State of New Jersey for more than five decades, go an eight year stretch with no net state tax increases. That didn’t happen by accident, it happened because I vetoed a whole bunch of tax increases, every one of them that came across my desk. If it was a net tax increase it got vetoed. By the same token, we have spent $2 billion less today in discretionary spending than we spent nine years ago. Only things that have gone up in our budget have been pension payments, health insurance payments, and debt service. That’s it, and those were all pretty much locked in as you understand previous obligations that I got to pay or we got bigger problems. Everything else is $2 billion less. The state budget today that I’ll turn over to the next Governor won’t have a $2 billion hole, it’ll have a $600 million surplus. So he or she will not have to worry about sitting in some conference room looking for $2 billion to cut with five months left. What’s that meant for our economy? What it’s meant for our economy is that we’re now in a situation where unemployment is at 4.7 percent, cut more than in half. We have more New Jerseyans employed today than at any time in our history. We have the second highest per capita income in America, and last year we had the sixth highest income growth year to year in America. New Jersey’s economy is doing really well, and is going to continue to do better if we continue on this path. And so we can talk about all the other things that we’ve accomplished that have contributed to this. Increasing the gas tax, which I talked about at FinPro, to build roads, build bridges, build all the infrastructure on mass transit that we need to continue to be a vital economy. But the way we increased the gas tax, for the first time in 27 years, was to demand other things in return so it wouldn’t be a net tax increase. So what has happened and will happen this January 1st? The sales tax has been reduced for the first time in 20 years so that folks that are buying everyday items will pay less in sales tax. The estate tax, as of January 1st is eliminated. We had the worst estate tax in America, $675,000 exclusion only and then, if you got to $675,001, you paid tax on the whole thing. It was the worst estate tax in America. It will be gone completely. There will be no estate tax in New Jersey come January 1st of this year. Retirees in this state will now have their first $100,000 in retirement income excluded from state income tax.

Press Contact:
Brian Murray
609-777-2600

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