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July 09, 2016

South Jersey legislators push back on Christie plan to hike taxes on cross-river workers

Governor considering withdrawing from agreement with Pennsylvania that exempts interstate commuters

South Jersey officials are pushing back on a plan floated by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie to tax cross-river workers who live in South Jersey but travel to Pennsylvania to work.

Christie is considering withdrawing from an agreement that exempts residents who live in Pennsylvania but work in New Jersey from paying income taxes on their salaries and wages to the Garden State — and vice versa.

That would mean a tax hike for the nearly 100,000 New Jerseyans from Camden, Gloucester and Burlington counties who cross the Delaware to work in Pennsylvania.

About 20,000 Philadelphia residents work in New Jersey.

Related story: Christie looks to raise taxes on cross-river workers

The plan to drop the 38-year-old agreement caught veteran legislators off guard.

“It was never discussed during budget hearings. It was never presented by the treasurer,” Assembly Majority Leader Lou Greenwald (D-Cherry Hill) told KYW Newsradio. “It was the first we’d heard of it, probably because it’s not a very reputable idea and not one that has stood the test of time.”

Former Governor Jim McGreevey considered it a dozen years ago, but backed off after an uproar.

Greenwald told KYW that Christie is offering the idea as a way to make his budget appear balanced.

He predicts it’ll be pulled back once the administration realizes it won’t work, given that Pennsylvania would respond and do the same thing.

“We’ll fight it back again,” said Greenwald.

To read the entire KYW account, click here.