New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) on Monday vetoed a tax increase on millionaires passed by Democrats in the state legislature for the third consecutive year, even as the Democrats planned to use the tax increase to pay for other tax cuts that Christie wants.
Christie himself has proposed tax cuts that would primarily benefit the wealthiest of the state’s residents and has justified his veto of the millionaire’s tax by saying it would lead to a mass exodus of high-income individuals from the state, despite evidence showing that would not be the case. But after vetoing the millionaire’s tax and millions in spending, Christie called legislators back to the capital to work on another tax cut, CBS News reports:
He called lawmakers, who would normally be on vacation after passing the budget, back to Trenton for a special session where he unveiled an alternate tax plan. His latest proposal: Use some of the $361 million he cut last week from the state budget with a line-item veto to pay for property tax cuts for any homeowner with a household income under $400,000 and for an expansion in an earned-income tax credit for the working poor.
Democrats slammed Christie’s latest proposal as “political theater,” and one activist group said he was using the state’s poorest residents as “pawns” in a political game. Supporting the boost to the earned income tax credit is, indeed, a change of tune for the governor. The Democratic budget bolstered the credit to 25 percent of the federal level, giving $115 a year to the average family. Christie, who now claims support for such a plan, scaled back that provision in his budget two years ago, did not include it in his own budget, and used his line-item veto to remove it from the Democratic budget.