In his State of the State address yesterday, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) announced his plan to institute a 10 percent tax cut across all income tax brackets. Celebrating his rather draconian budget cuts over the past two years, Christie said, “because we have put our fiscal house in order, we can budget for our priorities and give tax relief to all of our people.”
Not surprisingly, this tax cut will benefit the wealthy significantly more. While a family making $600,000 would keep $4,000 of their income, a middle-class family making $50,000 would save only $130:
High-income families would get the biggest boost from his proposed tax cut. Families making more than $500,000 now pay just under 9 percent of their incomes in state taxes. Under Christie’s plan, the highest rate would drop to just over 8 percent, meaning that the annual state income tax paid by a family with $600,000 in taxable income would drop from about $39,000 to around $35,000.
A family making $50,000 would see its tax bill fall from about $1,270 to about $1,140.
Noting that millionaires would reap $7,200 from the tax cut, New Jersey Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver (D) said, “A 10 percent across-the-board income tax cut might make a nice sound bit, but ultimately it benefits the wealthiest far more than low and middle income earners.” State Senate President Stephen Sweeney (D) just called it “a B.S. tax cut.” “This is another windfall for multi-millionaires at the expense of schools, because that’s where the money comes from,” he said.
Indeed, Christie took an $820 billion bite out of public education in 2010, a cut so severe that it violated the state’s constitution. Christie merely labeled the court “crazy” and complained that he had no way of balancing the budget without gutting education, even when atwo percent tax increase on millionaires would completely plug the hole.
Even now, Christie has not mentioned how he plans to pay for the 10 percent income tax cut that could cost the state over $1.1 billion. But he still managed to blast the state Supreme Court regarding his education cuts. He called on the court to “admit” that its ruling “requiring poor, often urban schools to get increased funding was ‘a failure‘ because pupil performance at those schools has not improved.” Judging by his past and future plans, neither has the governor’s.