Budget Deadline Passed

For the fourth time in five years, New Jersey passed the deadline to sign a balanced budget. At issue is how to raise taxes on the state’s taxpayers.

Governor Corzine is steadfast in his belief that taxpayers should pay seven percent on all sales in the state instead of the now six percent rate.

State Democrat Assembly leaders want the sales tax increase eliminated in favor of other taxes and fees that add up to $917 million. Coupled with $741 million in spending cuts, the Assembly Democrats think this gouge of the taxpayer is palatable.

Who will flinch first?

Does it matter? New Jerseyans will be paying more in taxes in FY 2006-07 than they are this year. Whatever resolution is adopted, you dear reader, will be paying more.

All the talk of shutting down state services is a rouse. Even if it happens, state employees will be compensated. The casinos are in court to block shutting down that industry. So, if everyone is paid and the casinos remain open, what has really happened if state services are closed? Some folks will not be able to enjoy the parks in the state this weekend. At least the gravy train will keep moving.

Politically, positives can be had through this mess. If Corzine does not budge until all services are shut down, he loses any political influence he has. Assembly Democrats want to be re-elected and aren’t going to let Corzine tank their bids like Florio did in the early 1990s. Ultimately, that is what this is all about.

If the entrenched politicos “win” this battle, New Jersey will be left with an ineffective leader for the balance of Corzine’s term as he will not be able to get anything done. Just how will he be able to pass property tax reform if he buckles on the budget?

All the while, you and I will be footing the bill for the growth in state government. Nothing has changed in Trenton: New Jerseyans will be paying higher taxes.

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