- Associated Press - Friday, July 22, 2016

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - The Latest on a proposal to raise New Jersey’s gas tax to pay for transportation projects (all times local):

3:30 p.m.

Gov. Chris Christie is criticizing New Jersey lawmakers’ new proposal to boost the state gas tax by 23 cents a gallon to fund transportation projects.

Senate President Steve Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto, both Democrats, announced a deal Friday that also would phase out the estate tax and make other tax cuts.

A spokesman for Christie said in a statement Friday the new plan contains “vague generalities” and said he wouldn’t make a decision until he was given more specifics.

The Republican governor accused both men of “publicly pretending they’ve accomplished something” on the transportation stalemate before next week’s Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.

Christie had proposed a funding plan Thursday that Sweeney on Friday called “not acceptable.”

___

2:30 p.m.

New Jersey’s Senate president says he’s confident a new proposal that boosts the state gas tax by 23 cents a gallon to fund transportation projects can get a veto-proof majority in both houses.

Senate President Steve Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto, both Democrats, announced the deal Friday.

Sweeney says a proposal made by Gov. Chris Christie Thursday “wasn’t acceptable.” He didn’t offer details.

The Sweeney-Prieto plan calls for phasing out the estate tax, increasing a tax credit for the working poor, raising the retirement and pension income tax exemption and offering a tax savings for veterans.

It would also give motorists who earn up to $100,000 an annual income tax deduction of up to $500.

It doesn’t include a reduction in the sales tax, an issue that torpedoed an earlier deal.

___

11:30 a.m.

New Jersey’s Democratic legislative leaders have reached an agreement that would boost the gasoline tax by 23 cents a gallon to fund transportation projects while cutting other taxes.

Senate President Steve Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto announced the proposed deal Friday, a day after Gov. Chris Christie offered his own plan.

The plan also calls for phasing out the estate tax, increasing a tax credit for the working poor, raising the retirement and pension income tax exemption, and offering a tax savings for veterans. It would also give motorists who earn up to $100,000 an annual income tax deduction of up to $500.

Sweeney slammed the brakes on a deal brokered between Prieto and Christie that would have returned the sales tax from 7 to 6 percent.

Christie’s office wasn’t immediately available to comment.

___

7 a.m.

Gov. Chris Christie is offering New Jersey’s Senate president a counteroffer to fund transportation projects.

Spokesmen for Christie and Democrat Steve Sweeney tell NJ.com (https://bit.ly/2aeO7Ue ) the Republican responded on Thursday afternoon and Sweeney is reviewing it. Neither side is offering details about what tax cuts would accompany an additional 23-cent-a-gallon increase in the state’s gasoline tax.

Earlier this month, Sweeney slammed the brakes on a late-night deal brokered between Christie and Democratic Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto to gradually return the sales tax from seven to six percent.

The Senate wanted to eliminate the estate tax, raise the retirement and pension income tax exemption, increase a tax credit for the working poor, and create a tax credit for charitable donations.

Christie has halted all “nonessential” construction projects during the impasse.

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide