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Christie Tax Cut May Face Democratic Opposition, Lawmaker Says

Jan. 3 (Bloomberg) -- Democrats who control the New Jersey Legislature are unlikely to support any plan by Republican Governor Chris Christie to cut taxes if it focuses too much on the wealthy, Assembly Majority Leader Joseph Cryan said.

“The idea of the trickle-down economic opportunity of tax cuts for the wealthy, that we’re all supposed to wait at the leak in the fountain to get a sip from it, is just insane,” Cryan, a Democrat from Union, told reporters in Trenton today. “That will be a difficult thing for us to swallow. So we’ll listen and see what it is.”

Cryan and Senate Majority Leader Barbara Buono said Democratic lawmakers plan to focus this year on pushing a package of at least 30 bills aimed at helping working-class families and small businesses. The measures include tax credits for job creation and reducing the corporate-tax burden. Christie is too focused on helping the rich and big business, the Democrats said at a Statehouse press conference.

Michael Drewniak, a spokesman for Christie, declined in an e-mail to comment on the remarks by Cryan and Buono.

Robert Grady, chairman of Christie’s Council of Economic Advisors, said Dec. 14 that the governor may propose business-and income-tax cuts as soon as this month. Any moves would need to preserve a balanced budget, Grady said. Christie, a first-term Republican, is scheduled to give his State of the State speech on Jan. 11.

Christie, 48, ousted Jon Corzine in November 2009 as voters rejected the one-term Democrat’s handling of the economic slump. The Republican closed a $10.7 billion deficit without raising taxes in his $29.3 billion budget for the fiscal year that began July 1. In May, he vetoed an attempt by Democratic lawmakers to extend a lapsed income-tax surcharge on residents earning more than $1 million a year.

Christie faces a deficit of as much as $10.5 billion in the next fiscal year, the non-partisan Office of Legislative Services estimated in July.

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

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Mark Tannenbaum at mtannen@bloomberg.net.

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