NJ Democrats Push Referendum on 'Millionaire's Tax'

Monday, 26 Mar 2012 12:54 PM

By Greg McDonald

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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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