2nd Vote On NJ Millionaires Tax On Hold

Millionaires TaxThe Democratic leader of the New Jersey Senate said he will push for an override of Republican Gov. Chris Christie’s veto of a temporary tax increase on millionaires. But Senate President Steve Sweeney apparently won’t get that chance unless the Assembly acts. Sweeney was ready to post the bill for an override vote next week, but the state Constitution requires any legislation that would increase taxes to originate in the Assembly. Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver, a Democrat, has not said whether she plans to post the measure for another floor vote. The next Assembly voting session is June 21.

The measure would generate more than $600 million from an income tax surcharge on the state’s top wage earners. Legislation specifies that the additional revenue be used to restore property tax rebates for older residents and people with disabilities.

Christie vetoed the bill minutes after it reached his desk May 20.

An override vote requires a two-thirds majority in each house of the Legislature. That means four Republicans in the Senate and seven in the Assembly would have to switch their votes.

“This was no easy vote for them the first time,” Sweeney said.

While Sweeney said the override has “a shot,” some believe the Democratic leader wants to force a second vote to put Republicans on the record twice voting against taxing the state’s wealthiest residents.

A surcharge on those making more than $400,000 a year expired in December.

The bill would raise the state income tax from 8.9 percent to 10.8 percent for those making more than $1 million. About 16,000 residents would be affected by the legislation.

But Christie said the additional tax would chase wealthy residents and businesses out of the state, along with the jobs they provide.

Democrats have criticized Christie’s proposed budget for hitting the poorest taxpayers the hardest.

While Christie vowed not to increase taxes, Democrats say the governor’s first budget proposal includes higher costs for nearly everyone, especially the most vulnerable. For example, the proposal takes more money from the developmentally disabled and reduces tax credit for the working poor. AP

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