We do not have a budget for FY 2012 yet (which runs from July 2012 through June 2013.) For FY 2012, governor Christie has proposed a higher budget of about $32 billion and also a 10% income tax cut. He expects that the New Jersey economy will grow as much as China’s. That is above 7%.
The budget which was approved by the Legislature for FY 2011 was about $29 billion and you can see the sources of that revenue and how it was spent in the pies below. The bottom-right pie shows legislature and Judiciary together but the Legislature takes about 2/3 of that amount – that is about $500 million. The Governor’s office consumes a bit below $ 100 million but that I know from a different source and it is not specified here.
I find both Legislature and Governor Office expenditures exorbitant.
If we add to that about $25 billion in property taxes we arrive at the sub-total amount of $55 billion that we New Jersey residents pay in taxes. About 10% of that goes to the counties. But we are not done yet.
Senator Sweeney has just introduced a bill which would include user fees charged by municipalities under the 2% property tax cap which became law last year. The bill is an attention seeker. Why? Because what municipalities will do is to drop those services which are most needed and residents will have to pay directly to the service providers – garbage collection for instance: Either people will have to hire their own private garbage collectors at higher cost and/or there will be more illegal garbage dumping everywhere. Sweeney may be planning to run for some higher office.
The total amount of user fees that New Jersey residents pay is near $10 billion per year. Therefore, the total amount of money that we all are forced to give the many governments of New Jersey is the eye-popping figure of almost $65 billion yearly.
Bottom line: Government – or rather the political class benefiting from it – is financially suffocating the economy and people of New Jersey.
That is what I intend to correct if elected governor in 2013.