Saturday, July 01, 2006

Corzine shuts 'er down 
Gov. Corzine shut down NJ's state government today, bringing to a head his dispute with the State Legislature over how to close a $4.5 billion deficit in this year's budget.
Corzine Signs Order Closing N.J. Gov't

Jul 1, 10:11 AM (ET)


TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - Gov. Jon S. Corzine closed the state government Saturday amid a bitter dispute with fellow Democrats in the Assembly over his plan to increase the sales tax, threatening to shutter beaches, parks and possibly casinos in the coming days.


After Saturday's constitutional deadline to adopt a new balanced budget passed without agreement, Corzine signed an executive order just after 9:30 a.m., a grim climax to weeks of budget squabbling among Democrats who control state government but haven't been able to agree on a budget bill.


The dispute centers on Corzine's determination to raise the state sales tax from 6 percent to 7 percent to help close a $4.5 billion budget deficit.

Corzine sees the increase as a vital step toward providing reliable annual revenue, but most Democrats in the Assembly - the lower house of the state Legislature - and several Senate Democrats say the plan is unnecessary.


Mixed kudos for Corzine. He's standing up to the legislators who are scared witless of taxes...but shame on him, too, for trying to raise the single most regressive tax we have, placing the burden of the deficit on those least able to afford it. He might know better if he'd had to count pennies, rather than millions, any time in the past 20 years.

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