New Jersey Democrats are threatening to put a proposed “millionaire’s tax” to a public vote if Republican Gov. Chris Christie continues to oppose legislation raising taxes on the wealthy, according to the Newark Star-Ledger
“If we need to do this by referendum because the governor refuses to bend, then so be it,” Assembly Majority Leader Lou Greenwald told the newspaper.
In order to force a public referendum, lawmakers would have to pass a specific bill two years in a row calling for the issue to be placed on the 2013 ballot as a constitutional amendment.
But if that happens, Christie, who is up for re-election next year, would be unable to stop it because governors have no authority over constitutional amendments.
“It’s a no-brainer,” said state Democratic Sen. Shirley Turner, who introduced a tax bill Christie vetoed last year that would increase the highest rate from 8.97 percent to 10.75 percent on income above $1 million.“People would break their necks getting to the polls to support it.”
According to recent polls, New Jersey voters would support a tax increase on the wealthy. Supporters of the tax increase say it would add about $600 million a year in revenues to state coffers.
Christie spokesman Michael Drewniak called the Democratic threat “an abuse of the [legislative] process, adding that it “shows how desperate and ridiculous an idea it is.”
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