Bad-news NJ budget bound to carry fallout

March 14, 2009 1:28:13 PM PDT
New Jersey Gov. Jon S. Corzine's bare-bones budget increases the financial burden on businesses and the middle-class. Less clear is how damaging it will be politically in a year Corzine and all 80 members of the state Assembly face re-election.

Republicans slammed the plan as a double whammy for middle-class taxpayers who would lose their property tax rebate and income tax deduction for property taxes.

Corzine responded by noting that the proposal preserves student aid, keeps hospitals open and barely trims aid to towns.

Political pollster Clay Richards of Quinnipiac University's Polling Institute says the deep recession forced Corzine to make moves that would hurt him politically, but he has tried to minimize the damage.

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