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Posts Tagged ‘budget’

 down-arrowSTATE – Gov. Jon Corzine’s $29.8 billion budget proposal relies on revenue projections that are too optimistic, according to a consensus of economic reports used by the non-partisan Office of Legislative Services to analyze it.

David Rosen, the office’s budget and finance officer, told the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee Monday that Corzine’s budget will leave New Jersey with a $100 million deficit instead of the $500 million surplus projected by the governor.

The state constitution does not allow deficit spending, so a revenue shortfall would require additional cuts to a budget that is already $3 billion less than the one approved last year.

Rosen also criticized the governor for not including a larger surplus margin in a year where revenue is extremely difficult to predict due to the bad economy. “You would want even bigger surplus than normal as a hedge,” Rosen said.

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Making — and sticking to — a household budget can help you conserve cash and limit your credit needs in tough economic times. There are some traps, however, that can bust your budget quickly, despite your best intentions. The New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants (NJSCPA) offers the following advice to avoid making these mistakes:

Mistake #1: Not Having a Budget

When you create a budget, you add up the amount of net salary and other money you expect to receive during the month then total what you need to spend on necessities, such as rent or mortgage, food, transportation, savings and other costs. Once you subtract your expenses from your income, you can save or spend whatever remains. Just remember not to spend more than what is left. If you do, you’ll have to borrow from next month’s budget to cover the overage, setting you back in the future.

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STATE – Gov. Jon Corzine’s draconian budget proposal has drawn a lot of criticism, but the most controversial component was the plan to eliminate the property tax deduction on the state income tax for most New Jersey residents.

Realizing that his budget had little chance of passing with that proposal intact, last week the Governor announced that he’d restore the tax deduction for residents earning less than $150,000 per year. 

“Given the circumstances, allowing people to maintain their property-tax deduction is the right thing to do and will help ease the pain for those being squeezed the most,” Senate President Richard J. Codey (D-Essex) said.

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mirror-condensed-dollar-signMIDDLESEX COUNTY – The freeholders introduced a $392 million budget last week which is nearly $5 million lower than the county’s 2008 spending plan.

Due to the slumping economy, the county will need to raise more money through taxes. The freeholders have cut nearly $10 million from the original spending plan unveiled in March, keeping the tax increase to the 2.5 percent allowed by state law.

“Since unveiling a budget plan in January, the Board of Chosen Freeholders and Middlesex County department heads have aggressively cut operating expenses and salaries and wages to ensure taxpayers receive quality programs and services at prices they can afford,” Freeholder Director Stephen Dalina said.

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TRENTON – Gov. Jon Corzine outlined a plan to address the local effects of the global economic crisis in an address to a joint session of the Legislature on Oct. 16. The speech was carried live by NJN and is archived on the public television station’s website, njn.net.

Governor Jon S. Corzine waves to the assembly before addressing a joint session of the New Jersey Legislature to unveil a multi-faceted plan to provide immediate assistance for Garden State residents and statewide long-term economic growth options to coax the state out of the current national economic recession in the Assembly Chambers in Trenton, N.J. on Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2008. (Governor's Office/Tim Larsen)

Corzine’s plan focused on job creation, prevention of mortgage foreclosures and increasing credit available to businesses. The governor advocated using $500 million from the state’s pension investments to help community banks boost their liquidity and make more money available for loans to local businesses. He also proposed a new program that would give businesses $3,000 for each new full-time job they create and maintain for at least one year.

Corzine also wants to pair newly available federal money with funds from the Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency to make $150 million available to prevent foreclosures and preserve neighborhoods.

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STATE – Gov. Jon Corzine approved the latest plan to raise tolls on the New Jersey Turnpike and Garden State Parkway, which will fund a host of transportation projects, last week.

The revised plan will raise tolls Parkway tolls from 35 to 50 cents in December, with another 25 cent increase planned for 2012. The average 23-mile trip on the Turnpike will increase in cost from $1.20 to $1.70 in December, and rise to $2.60 in 2012.

The latest plan scraps a third round of increases, which would have taken effect in 2023, that had been included in the previous proposal. It also includes discounts. Drivers using E-ZPass during off-peak hours will keep the current 25 percent discount they now receive. E-ZPass drivers who are over 65 will get a new 10 percent discount during off-peak hours. Truckers will get a new 5 percent discount for using E-ZPass during off-peak hours, and drivers of fuel-efficient vehicles will get an extra 10 percent discount.

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STATE – Gov. Jon Corzine approved the latest plan to raise tolls on the New Jersey Turnpike and Garden State Parkway, which will fund a host of transportation projects, last week.

The revised plan will raise tolls Parkway tolls from 35 to 50 cents in December, with another 25 cent increase planned for 2012. The average 23-mile trip on the Turnpike will increase in cost from $1.20 to $1.70 in December, and rise to $2.60 in 2012.

The latest plan scraps a third round of increases, which would have taken effect in 2023, that had been included in the previous proposal. It also includes discounts. Drivers using E-ZPass during off-peak hours will keep the current 25 percent discount they now receive. E-ZPass drivers who are over 65 will get a new 10 percent discount during off-peak hours. Truckers will get a new 5 percent discount for using E-ZPass during off-peak hours, and drivers of fuel-efficient vehicles will get an extra 10 percent discount.

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