Page-2 | Full text of Gov. Christie’s Fiscal Year 2013 Budget Address | Economy | -- Your State. Your News.

Jun 30th
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Full text of Gov. Christie’s Fiscal Year 2013 Budget Address

I propose that we increase school aid, for the second year in a row, by over $200 million, to $8.8 billion, a record amount of state aid to education. There is no priority more important than educating our children, so let’s reform our schools and give them the tools to be great.

I propose that we more than double the state’s contribution to our pension system. Last year, we enacted landmark reform that showed the nation that we can come together on a bi-partisan basis to manage our long-term liabilities. In my budget, the state will make good on its obligation to fund our pension system.

I propose that we continue to reform and repair the programs of state government to better engage and serve New Jersey’s most vulnerable citizens.

Let me cover these areas one at a time.

First, any job growth plan for New Jersey has to start with cutting taxes. As everyone in this room knows, or should know, New Jersey raised state taxes and fees 115 times in the eight years before I became Governor. Government abused the taxpayers of New Jersey because government refused to control its own appetite for spending.

We are in a competition for jobs with other states. Some other states, like New York and Connecticut, are raising income taxes that will drive businesses out. New Jersey should choose responsible tax cuts to give overburdened citizens relief and help businesses grow jobs.

Our tax rates, and our overall tax burden, were also the worst in the region. And the effects were being felt: a study by scholars at Boston College found that $70 billion of wealth had left the state in the prior five years. That exodus hurt jobs, economic growth and yes, even state tax revenues.

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.

The property tax cap that you passed and I signed into law has worked. A recent study showed that in 2011 New Jersey had the lowest property tax growth in 20 years. Communities have had the right to override the cap, but the overwhelming majority has chosen not to.

The people have spoken, and they want lower taxes.


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