Dems try to box in Christie

Democratic leaders today said they would pass legislation reinstating the so-called millionaire’s tax.

This would raise the state’s top income tax rate from the current 8.97 percent to 10.75 percent on income above $1 million a year …
Christie will veto that bill and the Dems know it. Their goal is to portray the governor as a protector of the most privileged among us. That could be an effective political tool. Part of the problem here is the governor’s rhetoric about shared sacrifice.
Those who make far less than $1 million are sacrificing in many ways. They will pay higher property taxes, higher bus and train fares, and what’s more, many services will be cut. It is true that the very wealthy also will pay higher property taxes and see service cuts. but really now, an income in excess of $1 million cushions the inpact, don’t you think? Just where is their “sacrifice?”
If anything,  that class actually has benefitted from the state’s current troubles given the fact the tax the Dems want to reimpose was eliminated as of January.

The governor will be praised by his party for standing against a tax increase, but among the population as a whole, this is a battle he is going to lose.

At the same time, we would be remiss if we do not mention that the Dems bear part of the blame here. If  they had guts, they would have extended the tax last year when Jon Corzine was governor.


About fsnowflack
Fred Snowflack was editorial page editor and a political columnist for the Daily Record of Morristown for almost 12 years. He has won numerous awards for editorial and column writing from the New Jersey Press Association and has written a blog on county and state politics for the last three years. He lives in Ledgewood in Morris County.

5 Responses to Dems try to box in Christie

  1. Ed Ramirez says:


    Last year when this increase was implemented the state lost 70 billion dollars in wealth. Those people can leave anytime they want and when they do they take small businesses and capital that can help to reinvigorate our economy. Sometimes tax increases are not the best answer, they are the easiest but not the best. When you take 65% of someone income there is little left to make them want to stay. Here are the numbers 8% SSI tax, 4.3% Medicare tax 36% FIT, and 10.3% State income tax, 1% disability Ins 1% Unemployment Ins and 1% family leave tax. The top two percent in the state pay 40% of all state taxes. Enough is an enough. Stop the spending and promote growth in the economy.

  2. Wait a minute — the state did not lose “70 billion dollars” in wealth;
    Anywho, if the top 2 percent in the state pay 40 pct of state taxes, so what!
    They pay that amount because they earn much, more money than everyone else. The proposal would increase the top rate slightly for those earning in excess of a million..That is not going to prompt an exodus of the proportion you are envisioning.

  3. Ken Bank says:

    I can’t fault Christie playing hardball. Why should he give up what little leverage he has with the legislature before they’ve even begun to negotiate? Besides, I’m sure Dems can make a deal with enough moderate Republicans in competitive districts to override a veto.

    I’m not sure how this will play out but I’m sure the end result will be a government shutdown in July followed by hardball negotiations followed by some kind of tax increase and restoration of rebates.

    With legislative elections next year there are simply too many vulnerable Republicans unwilling to jeopardize their political careers just to protect the bank accounts of a few megamillionaires. Besides, there is a big difference between “millionaires”, whose net worth exceeds one million dollars (not really all that much when one considers the average price of a home in some neighborhoods in Morris County), and someone whose income exceeds one million dollars. The latter is more likely to be closer to “billionaire” than “millionaire”.

  4. P says:

    KB – Wrong, again. It’s Christie and the Republicans who will pick off the Dem votes they need to pass Christie’s budget and “tool” kit. The politicians have seen the handwriting on the wall and they know the populace is ready to throw out anyone who wants to raise taxes and support the public labor unions. I agree that there’s a great chance for a shutdown, but the Dems will only be costing their labor masters a week or two of pay because Christie will NEVER approve paying them for the time they are off from work.

    Question for all those who favor the latest Millionaires tax (and for the first time we don’t have to put it in quotes, because it really would only hit people bringing in a Million Dollars a year) – McGreevey was the first to enact a “millionaires” tax, soaking those who made more than $500K for 9% per year, up from 6.4% (a 40% jump), and Corzine followed with a “temporary” tax jump to 10.25%; and neither seems to have fixed NJ’s problems (EXPENSES), so what makes you believe that this latest money grab will do anything other than kick the can down the road as unsustainable programs are funded for yet another year? And what happens NEXT year when there’s yet another revenue gap?

    The issue of who’s “sacrificing” the most is just a giant smoke screen.

  5. DR says:

    Hi Fred – I recently started reading the DR online and found I like reading your work – don’t always agree but I think you’ve got some good insight. However, your comment of “Anywho, if the top 2 percent in the state pay 40 pct of state taxes, so what! They pay that amount because they earn much, more money than everyone else” was short sighted in my opinion.

    Using that logic anyone who make less than say $100,000 has an argument (not saying it’s valid but based on your comment it follows a pattern) that families making over $100k should pay more taxes. So what if they do – they should pay more because they earn more.

    Or anyone who makes over $75k … or $50k. I don’t make anywhere near $1 million a year and although I would love for those that do to pay more so I pay less … I just don’t think it’s fair. They already pay more than their fair share and pay more than anyone else making $1 million or more in the country.

    The solution to the state’s buget problems should not be to increase taxes on people who earn over a certain amount. It should be to cut public spending so we are not taxed in amounts that make us far and away #1 in the US …. but a close #1 with a chance to move to #2.

    I understand the whole disposable income thing and how taxing a $1 million earner is different than taxing a $100k earner. But the point is we are already taxing most people to the hilt and it needs to stop. The ONLY way to do that is to cut spending. Can’t cover the deficit cutting a million here and a million there. Need to go after the big dollars which unfortunately are primarily going to the salaries and benefits of public employees.

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