Christie's NJ Comeback: "Stuck in the Mud Somewhere in the Swamps of New Jersey"

Taking a line from Springsteen's Rosalita, Senate Budget Chair Paul Sarlo hit the nail on the head with the above comment.

Governor Christie's FYI 2013 Revenue Forecast was $32 billion with a Reserve Fund Balance for emergencies of $300 million. Not only was his revenue forecast of a 7.5% increase unrealistically high, but he also reduced the emergency fund balance from the prior years' $500 million.

In a press release today the Treasury Department said that tax revenues are now $230 million below the forecast for the first 10 months of the fiscal year - an amount that that would almost engulf next year's emergency fund balance. Some legislators have speculated that by the end of the fiscal year in June the problem may be even more severe.

Tax revenue did grow by 2.7%, but the decrease from budget of $230 million is larger than the $183 million Christie budgeted for his ill-conceived 10% tax cut. It remains possible that this revenue shortfall may end both Christie's plan for a tax cut and the legislature's plan for property tax relief. As of this morning the

Senate and Assembly had reached no agreement on which of their separate property tax relief plans should be promoted. Governor Christie had earlier scheduled for today a press conference with Senate President Sweeney to discuss a rumored deal similar to what Sweeney proposed but the press conference was cancelled.

There is considerable uncertainty as to what will happen next. What remains clearer is that the state is not reaching its revenue projections and that Christie's vaunted NJ comeback, like the guy driving to see Rosalita, is stuck in the mud.

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