Federal Politics

Published — September 29, 2011 Updated — May 19, 2014 at 12:19 pm ET

FACT CHECK: Gov. Christie leaves out the truth behind his tax cuts

N.J. Gov. Chris Christie drastically reduced his state’s budget deficit, but slashed homeowner benefits to do so

Introduction

Chris Christie shaded the truth when he took credit for closing New Jersey’s budget gap “without raising taxes.” It’s true he didn’t raise state taxes, but the governor’s first budget extensively revised and reduced a program that once provided residents with local property tax rebate checks. As a result, nearly 1 million homeowners received an average $269 property tax credit in fiscal year 2011, down from an average rebate check of $1,035 the year before.

The New Jersey governor spoke Sept. 27 at the Reagan Library. His theme was “leadership and compromise,” and he cited his experience as a Republican working with a Democratic legislature.

Christie, Sept. 27: “Leadership and compromise is the only way you can balance two budgets with over $13 billion in deficits without raising taxes while protecting core services.”

Christie — who after the speech once again rebuffed calls to run for president — did face significant budget problems when he took office in January 2010. He inherited a $2.2 billion shortfall in the fiscal year 2010 budget and declared a fiscal emergency to deal with it. In his first budget for fiscal year 2011, Christie faced a structural deficit of $10.7 billion.

To help close the budget gap, Christie overhauled the Homestead Rebate program. Christie cut the program from $1 billion to $268 million and renamed it the Homestead Benefit program. Instead of mailing out rebate checks, the program now provides quarterly tax credits against a homeowner’s property tax bills. Christie also deemed all tenants and homeowners who earn more than $75,000 ineligible for the program, and he sharply reduced the benefit for others. In its budget analysis, the nonpartisan Office of Legislative Services said the average benefit declined from $1,035 in fiscal year 2010 to $269 in fiscal year 2011.

So, did Christie close the budget gap without increasing taxes? Homeowners who relied on those checks to help pay property taxes might disagree with him.

In fact, the governor refers to the program as “direct tax relief” in his latest budget.

Christie’s fiscal year 2012 budget — which he signed June 30 — increases the Homestead Benefit program from $268 million to $458 million. On page 20 of his budget summary, Christie touts the increase in a list of budget accomplishments: “Doubles the Homestead Benefit to provide direct property tax relief to New Jersey families.” The Office of Legislative Services says the average benefit will increase to $476 — which isn’t quite double last year’s average and is less than half what it was before Christie took office.

– Eugene Kiely

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SOUTH JERSEYTed SiroisMark SullivanTom LarkinAnonymous Recent comment authors
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Mark Sullivan
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Mark Sullivan

Trump needs to conduct these activities because the entire MSM media, excluding Fox, is campaigning against him 24/7/365.

Didn’t Monica’s boyfriend’s wife and various criminal enterprises outspend Trump by almost 2-1?

CapitalistRoader
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CapitalistRoader

Why wouldn’t he get an early start on fund raising? Hillary outspent him two-to-one in 2016. The Dem’s are the party of big money. The President knows this and is attempting to get a jump on it. Of course the Dem candidate will outspend him in 2020 so it’s only rational that he starts fund raising now.

George Young
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George Young

Oh brother. We just 8 years of the Campaigner – in – Chief. Where was this journalistic rectal thermometer then. Just another article about 2000 words too long that merely takes another slap at Trump for something he far from initiated.

j stevenson
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j stevenson

The big difference between Trump and all the rest is his refusing to accept funds from lobbyists, so they don’t have the White House access they are used to. These are the donors who buy the presidency and are as pixxed off that he won the election as are the media and the Dems. Lobbyists have never been shut out of the WH and Trump has told them he is not for sale.

Anonymous
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Anonymous

Trump needs to be impeached and tossed in prison. Then have the key thrown away so he will never be free. Then he can see how it feels not to have freedom.

Mark Sullivan
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Mark Sullivan

Thank you for the usual insightful leftist low IQ Snowflake response.

barney
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hes not imprisoning them hes sending them back to their country chill tf out

SOUTH JERSEY
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SOUTH JERSEY

WHY DONT YOU HAVE FREEDOM?

Tom Larkin
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Tom Larkin

First, something positive. I was happy to learn of empirical information in article. BUT, the article was so slanted against President Trump as to be deemed fake news (“Perhaps Trump just lied.” (Two different issues)). The article mentions that President Trump raised over $67 million, but ended 2018 with $19 million. President Trump spent over $40 million 2016 and 2017. President Trump conducted 57 political rallies. The article notes the hats and T-shirts sold, but NEVER MENTIONS THE INCREASE IN THE NUMBER OF REPUBLICAN SENATORS during a mid-term election that lost the House and the number of political rallies in… Read more »

Ted Sirois
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Ted Sirois

At least Trump is getting donations from willing donors. Fresh from his first election, Obama used billions of our children’s tax dollars to save thousands of union jobs in the car industry and bailed out the banks and many Wall Street businesses. This secured his source of reelection funds for his reelection four years later.

South Jersey
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South Jersey

TRUMP 2020; IS AN AMAZINGLY SMART MAN! VERY ORIGINAL & CREATIVE. I AM HAPPY TO HAVE HIS AS POTUS.

SOUTH JERSEY
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SOUTH JERSEY

THIS ARTICLE WAS OBVIOUSLY WRITTEN BY, A TRUMP-HATE-GROUP. THAT FEELS; IT IS NOT NORMAL TO BE SUCCESSFUL WITH YOUR OWN BRAND NAME. WHEN, IF FACT, IT IS NORMAL! >>>>> THIS IS >>> FAKE NEWS!!! <<<< ie: A PACK-OF-LIES; SPUN INTO; DEFAMATION OF CHARACTER. FOR A SINISTER-AGENDA OF; FASCIST DEMOCRATIC SOCIALIST, COUP D'ETAT