New Jersey Senate President Steve Sweeney got a little exercise walking the new tax bill down the hall. But that’s all he got. Within minutes of reaching the desk marked with the seal of the state of New Jersey, Gov. Chris Christie vetoed the ‘Millionaire” tax bill.
A pen. A signature. And the same, old, failing New Jersey congressional tactics of taxation were sent back down the hall again.
“We’ll be back, governor,” said Sweeney.
“Alright, we’ll see,” said Christie.
Then Sweeney got exercise walking back.
In a video address following the veto (embedded below the fold), Christie said the state of New Jersey didn’t have a revenue problem. It had a spending problem. It’s the stewardship of the taxpayer money he’s out to reform, not to increase the amount coming in.
“New Jersey does not have a tax problem, that we don’t have enough tax revenue. We have a spending and size of government problem and we need to start saying ‘no.’ And today is another one of those examples of saying ‘no’,” Christie said.
The ‘Millionaire’ tax, Christie said, would push people under those guidelines to simply flee the state, which is exactly what they have been doing.
“You’re not going to fix this tax situation by continuing to load more and more taxes onto people who have both the ability to leave the state and the inclination to leave the state if they feel as if they’re being treated unfairly,” said Christie.
A recent study of wealthy households and their movements in and out of New Jersey from 1999 to 2008 shows the state “suffered a $70 billion net outflow in wealth from 2004 through 2008″, beginning the year New Jersey passed a ‘millionaires’ tax on incomes over $500,000.
The major change in New Jersey wealth came from large reductions of immigration to New Jersey by wealthy households from foreign countries, New York state and Pennsylvania. Also the number of affluent and wealthy households who left the state rose while the number of less wealthy households who left dropped.
The wealthy are fleeing the state.
Since the ‘millionaire’ tax worked so splendidly the first time, previous New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine did it again last year, pushing a one-year tax hike for 10.25% rate on incomes over $500,000 and a 10.75% rate for incomes of $1 million.
And since that so obviously fixed New Jersey’s indebtedness, the Democrat Congress in New Jersey decided to try for it once again. This time, however, Christie, who defeated Corzine’s re-election bid back in November on a platform of income tax relief, pulled out his pen and within two minutes kept his campaign promise.
“I just don’t believe if you spoke to a majority of the people in New Jersey, they would say to you, ‘Yeah, you know what? The government doesn’t have enough revenue to do the job. We just don’t send them enough money. Let’s send them some more because they don’t have enough…’ I don’t think the majority of New Jerseyians feel that way and I certainly don’t feel that way,” said New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie following his veto of the ‘millionaire’ tax hike.
|‘Millionaires tax’ bills pass both houses, but is vetoed by Gov. Christie|