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Millionaire’s Tax Hike Would be Pointlessly Political, Says Steve Sweeney [AUDIO/VIDEO]

State Senate President Steve Sweeney’s property tax cut plan does not include a millionaires’ tax increase even though he supports the idea. He knows where Governor Chris Christie stands on the issue of a millionaires’ tax hike so Sweeney says including one would be pointless and political.

Steve Sweeney and Chris Christie
Steve Sweeney and Chris Christie (Governor's Office/Tim Larsen)

“The Governor says he doesn’t want to sign a millionaires’ tax,” explains Sweeney. “We think that’s wrong because we think that could provide even more relief.”

While Sweeney thinks it’s wrong that Christie would veto a millionaires’ tax increase, he understands it is what it is, “So my plan doesn’t have a millionaires’ tax in it for one reason; I want to get something done and I want to get it done now.  People need relief now. We can play politics later. We can argue. We can fight.”

In his budget message, the Governor was clear on his position as it pertains to a millionaires’ tax increase. He said, “Our standing in the last two years has improved somewhat – but not enough. We have stopped spending growth in its tracks. We have eliminated the special surtax that for a time gave New Jersey the highest marginal tax rate in the nation – and I am proud to have twice vetoed the effort to re-introduce it. And just so there is no mistake in my intention: I will veto any tax increase again.”

Christie proposes to reduce personal income tax rates, across-the-board, for every New Jerseyan, by 10% with the three-year phase-in of the cut with this budget. He says 10% tax cut for every working New Jerseyan will help families to keep more of what they earn and make the state more competitive with other states and attract more new jobs to New Jersey.

Townsquare Media was the first to report that under a new plan proposed by State Senate President Steve Sweeney, a family earning $50,000 a year would save, on average $600, and a family earning $100,000 a year would save an average of $800; millionaires would get absolutely zero. Under the governor’s proposed income tax scheme, a family earning $50,000 a year would only save $80.50, and a family earning $100,000 annually would only save $275, while a millionaire would get a $7,265.75 tax break and those earning $3 million would save $25,200 a year.

The Sweeney plan would focus every dollar of tax relief on the 95 percent of New Jersey households that earn up to $250,000. The Christie proposal, by comparison, would give those families only an average of $218 in relief, while the top 5 percent would get an average of $4,632 and the top 0.6% would get an average of $22,577.

“Property tax relief is on its way,” says Sweeney. “Income tax cuts to the wealthy are not going to be had in this budget. I am not negotiating an income tax cut. I can tell you that right now.”

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