Christie’s office snaps back at OLS’ shortfall prediction

TRENTON – Gov. Chris Christie’s office snapped back at the head finance officer for the Office of Legislative Services Thursday, saying there are too many unknowns to “jump to any conclusions” with the state’s economy.

“David Rosen has been persistently negative and persistently wrong about the state’s revenues, and his analysis today is no exception,” said Christie spokesman Michael Drewniak in a statement.

“At a time when we’re still confronting the severe devastation of Hurricane Sandy and just in the beginning of the rebuilding process, we’re still seeing income tax revenue exceeding projections, and anticipate a significant uptick in labor, building and the related sales activities,” he said. “There are far too many unknowns as our state begins to recover to jump to any conclusions that the sky is tumbling down on us or engage the Democrats’ desire in making this a partisan game.”

Rosen told Senate lawmakers the state is facing a $700 million shortfall, which he warned has the potential to jump significantly higher.

Rosen, who Christie once referred to as the “Dr. Kevorkian of numbers,” told Senate lawmakers Sandy could give the state a bounce in revenues during the rebuilding process. However, he warned the state will need “a spectacular revenue acceleration” to hit the administration’s budget targets.

State revenues would need to grow by nearly 12 percent over the remaining seven months of Fiscal Year 2013, he said.

"He’s obviously working very, very hard at it. I mean he’s traveling all over the country as chairman of the [Republican Governors Association] and I think at this point he has as good a chance or better than anybody else. His name is household word all across the country, and I think he would make a great president."
—former U.S. Rep. Jim Saxton (R-3), on Gov. Chris Christie