TRENTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork) -- In a state with 8.8 million residents and a growing number of fiscal challenges, a small but valuable segment of the population - 16,000 millionaires - is at the heart of the latest budget battle, Jay Dow reports.
Democrats who control the state legislature argue that hiking taxes on the Garden State's wealthiest from 8.97 to almost 11-percent would generate more than $500 billion for suburban school districts. Those districts, along with New Jersey's public workers, have experienced budget cuts during Governor Chris Christie's time in Trenton.
"A lot of millionaires out there that can help support the education of young children, and it would be great," said Spencer Raymond of Lodi.
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"He's asked everybody else to step up to the plate to pitch in, share in the sacrifice, and today, we're asking those who make over $1 million to do the same," said Democrat State Sen. Paul Sarlo.
The proposed increase would put New Jersey at the top of the list in our region. New York's millionaires pay an 8-percent income tax rate. That rate is 6.5-percent in Connecticut and 3.5-percent in Pennsylvania.
Governor Christie said he will veto the measure if it gets to his desk, and argued that tax increases will make New Jersey even less competitive in the regions, and hurt job growth.
He vetoed a similar proposal back on May 20, 2010.
Critics argue the proposed two-year surcharge will discourage wealthy business owners from hiring workers.
"That is not a good thing when you're trying to bring jobs and investment into the state," said Paul Boudreau, Morris County Chamber Of Commerce.
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