Following last week’s squabble within the Democratic party over property tax rebates, lawmakers are now considering other ways to cut the budget. Anonymous sources within the Corzine Administration have leaked more details about last week’s closed-door meeting. The information appeared in both the Star-Ledger today and the Philly Enquirer on Monday.
The Governor is considering 12 furloughs for state workers next year – one a month. And they are also looking at a tax hike of 5% for those earning more than $250,000. Plus, there is even discussion about taxing wine and liquor ( but not beer ) and cigarettes.
Corzine was in Middlesex County today and refused to confirm any of that. But State Senator Barbara Buono, the Budget Committee chair told NJN News that those were in fact the proposals under consideration. They were talked about during last Thursday’s now infamous meeting.
Republican State Senator Diane Allen told NJN News today that “We aren’t at furloughs yet,” and there are numerous other ways to reduce spending such as eliminating patronage positions and doing away with overtime. She said furloughing a secretary who makes $30k a year, is not the answer to the state’s budget problems.
We’ll find out what the Governor’s actual proposals are in his budget message on March 10. Stay tuned.