Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Governor Corzine Unveils FY 2009 Budget Proposal

Below is what I found today in the NJAR website, it's a terrible thing what the people in this Garden State have to give up in order help fix all the problems of the NJ deficit situation. It makes you think, doesn't it? It's not a wonder so many people are deciding to leave the Garden State.

Today, in his budget address to a joint session of the New Jersey Legislature, Governor Jon Corzine outlined his spending priorities for the upcoming year. The Governor unveiled a proposal that cuts state spending by $500 million over the previous year's $33.5 billion budget and does not contain any new taxes or fees.

Governor Corzine is looking to achieve a reduction in state spending by cutting a minimum of 5,000 state jobs through a series of layoffs and buyouts. Governor Corzine said he wants to reduce the size of state government by also eliminating the Departments of Agriculture and Personnel, and the Commerce Commission. The plan calls for aid to hospitals, municipalities, and colleges and universities to be reduced.

Governor Corzine also acknowledged New Jersey's property tax crisis in his budget address. Under his FY 2009 spending proposal, 70 percent of homeowners will receive exactly the same $1,000-plus rebate they received last year. However, the Governor wants to reduce property tax rebates for households who earn between $100,000 and $150,000. Under his plan, if your household income exceeds $150,000 you will no longer be eligible for the rebate program. Additionally, Governor Corzine seeks to increase educational aid by $550 million, as was called for in the new school funding formula.

We are encouraged by the fact that no new taxes were imposed on the real estate industry or property owners. However, the budget proposal unveiled today is a template and NJAR® anticipates that there will be many changes to it before it is enacted into law. As always, NJAR® will closely monitor all budget negotiations and will keep you informed of any developments. The New Jersey Network (NJN) will rebroadcast Governor Corzine's Budget Message tonight at 10 p.m. NJAR® is a prime sponsor of this television event. The entire text of the address can be viewed on the governor's website at www.nj.gov/governor/index.shtml. NJAR®'s statement on the budget address is available on our website at www.njar.com/pressroom/index.html.


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