Advocates for Low and Middle Income New Jerseyans Oppose the Sales Tax Deal, Fear Painful Cuts

Today, 25 groups who advocate for low and middle income New Jerseyans sent a letter to the members of the New Jersey Senate opposing Governor Christie’s and the Assembly’s Transportation Trust Fund (TTF)/ sales tax deal. These groups, along with New Jersey Citizen Action, remember the painful budget cuts that Christie imposed in 2010. The cuts that this TTF/ sales tax deal would necessitate would be similarly painful.

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Dear Senator,

We are writing to urge you to oppose the tax deal (A12) which the Assembly passed early Tuesday morning, as part of the deal to raise the gas tax to fund the Transportation Trust Fund (TTF). It is alarming that the Assembly aligned with the Governor to implement a sales tax cut that will blow a giant hole in the New Jersey state budget for many years to come. Our organizations and the people we work with remember the painful budget cuts of 2010. We know what the loss of state revenue from this tax cut could mean for New Jersey’s low and moderate income people.

This bill, if adopted, would create a similarly sized budget gap, if not next year, in subsequent years. This comes at a time when New Jersey’s poor and middle income families can ill afford to lose access to vital state assistance and supportive programs. New Jersey families face higher rates of poverty than ever and the middle class is paying more for health care, food and other necessities, while their wages decline or remain largely stagnant.

Accepting this deal would be accepting a whole host of deep and painful cuts to programs and assistance that low and middle income New Jerseyans rely on including property tax rebates, Medicaid, and funding to offset tuition increase at our public universities. And it will also mean that many of the programs that expand assistance for low and moderate income families will not be possible. These include many of the priorities that many of you have worked so hard to advance this year, including the TANF increase, lead poisoning prevention, and Pre-K expansion.

For the sake of low and middle income families, we the undersigned urge you to reject A12, which will starve our state of the resources it needs to support low and middle income families.

Anti-Poverty Network

Blue Wave NJ

Clean Water Action

CWA Local 1032

CWA Local 1081

CWA Local 1082

Environment New Jersey

Health Professionals and Allied Employees (HPAE)

Housing Community Development Network of NJ

Ironbound Community Corporation

Lutheran Episcopal Advocacy Ministry of New Jersey

Monarch Housing Association

NJAMHAA (New Jersey Association of Mental Health and Addiction Agencies)

New Jersey Citizen Action

New Jersey Policy Perspective

New Jersey Sierra Club

New Jersey Tenants Organization (NTO)

New Jersey Working Families Alliance

NJ Coalition to End Homelessness

NJ Housing and Community Development Network

NJ State Industrial Union Council

NJ Work Environment Council

Northern NJ Chapter, National Organization for Women

Racial Justice Project at Trinity Episcopal Church in Asbury Park

Statewide Parent Advocacy Network (SPAN)