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Buono Statement On Budget Developments

TRENTON – Sen. Barbara Buono (D-Middlesex), chairwoman of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee, issued the following statement on the revenue windfall from the tax amnesty program:

“The announcement today of more than $400 million in unanticipated revenues from the recently concluded tax amnesty program is a welcome respite from the steady drumbeat of bad news concerning the state and national economy. We are still in the midst of an unprecedented economic downturn, but the tax amnesty windfall will help us lessen some of the pain of next year’s state budget.

“Our top priority has to be restoring some of the property tax relief that we were unable to maintain in the budget we were about to vote on today. Cutting that relief as revenues declined was a last resort to help close the revenue gap and bring the 2010 Fiscal Year budget into balance. It should be the first place we look to restore as we recast the budget to account for the additional revenues.

“We will be working over the next several days to make sure we come up with the best plan for getting this newfound money back into the hands of hardworking taxpayers, who are counting on us to help them get through this extraordinarily difficult time. I look forward to having a finished state budget that provides even more much-needed property tax relief.”