Christie Says No Cuts Ruled Out as He Faces Budget Gap

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie said no cuts are being ruled out as he works to close an $807 million revenue gap with eight weeks left in the fiscal year.

“I’m going to use every tool at my disposal to get a balanced budget,” Christie told reporters yesterday in Trenton. “Nothing is off the table. It would be irresponsible with 60 days left in the fiscal year to say anything’s off the table.”

Income-tax collections led the drop in revenue, coming in at $700 million under Christie’s targets, according to a statement April 28 from the Treasury Department. The decline came as high-income residents moved up payments to avoid higher federal taxes, the agency said.

Preliminary figures from 45 states indicate tax collections rose during the first quarter of 2014 at the slowest pace since the recession, according to a report today from the Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government in Albany, New York. The slowdown resulted from some investors selling stocks and collecting other income before higher taxes took effect in 2013.

Christie blamed the decline on a decision by President Barack Obama and Congress to raise taxes on high-income earners as part of a deal to head off the so-called fiscal cliff.

“People will change their behavior to avoid it, and we’re now seeing the results of that,” Christie said. “What we saw here is not only us but treasury departments across the country underestimated the effect those changes would have.”

He declined to specify any cuts. He said his administration will release its plan when Treasurer Andrew Sidamon-Eristoff testifies to lawmakers May 21 and May 22.

In New Jersey, collections of business, sales and income taxes for the first nine months of the fiscal year were approximately $600 million below revised budget expectations, the agency said. The state captures about 40 percent of all income taxes from the richest 1 percent of earners.

To contact the reporter on this story: Terrence Dopp in Trenton at tdopp@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Stephen Merelman at smerelman@bloomberg.net Mark Schoifet

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