New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie last week announced that state tax revenue through June 30, the end of fiscal 2010, are expected to come in $1.1 billion below budgeted estimates.
Conversely, the previous administration insists that after taking into account spending cuts, the state on Jan. 14 showed a surplus of $496 million.
“We are in a surplus, that is an established matter of fact,” said Josh Zeitz, spokesman for former Gov. Jon Corzine. “They are projecting a deficit. Those are two very different things.”
The governor announced the new projected revenue shortfall during his first day in office after signing several executive orders, including ones that aim to help generate business growth in the state, which now faces a 10.1% jobless rate.
Christie has pledged to curb spending to balance the budget and fill any revenue shortfall rather than raising taxes or implementing new ones.
“I will deal with it in a way that will not cause additional taxes to be put on the people of the state of New Jersey,” the governor said during a news conference on his first day.
In addition to the revenue announcement, Christie signed eight executive orders that will suspend proposed regulations and rules for corporations for 90 days, implement more competitive strategies for keeping existing businesses in the state and bringing in new ones, and establish a review panel to analyze current corporation regulations.
The governor’s expressed goal is to make the process of regulating and facilitating business industry more efficient.
Christie also signed an executive order to create an easy-to-use public Web site to access budget and financial information that would offer more transparency in how officials spend taxpayer money. Another order would limit campaign contributions from labor groups that have state contracts.