NJ Race Comes Down to Wire; Corzine Makes New Promise

Polls show Corzine and Christie are neck-and-neck

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    NEWSLETTERS

    AP
    New Jersey gubernatorial candidates, from left, Republican Chris Christie, Independent Chris Daggett and Democrat incumbent Gov. Jon Corzine meet the audience prior to the final debate held at William Paterson University in Wayne, N.J., on Friday, Oct. 16, 2009.

    With last minute polls showing New Jersey's governor race couldn't get any closer, we heard a new promise from Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine the day before voters make their choice.

       It came when he was asked where property taxes will be at the end of his second term if he gets re-elected. 
      
    "They'll have a 'zero growth' growth rate," he said, although he admitted he was not guaranteeing it. 
      
    New Jersey homeowners pay the highest property taxes in the nation, and four years ago, Corzine promised a sharp drop in the tax when he campaigned the first time for the job. 
       
    Still, Corzine was able to get the annual growth rate in property taxes down from over 7 per cent a year on average, to under 4 per cent. That success, he says, is why he can get it down to zero over the next four years.
     
    His Republican opponent, Chris Christie, is promising an actual drop in property tax bills, by cutting state spending.

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    "I say they'll be lower because we're gonna start getting people (state agencies) to start spending less," argued Christie.

    But critics say Christie has not been specific about where he would make the needed billions of dollars in cuts in the state's $29 billion budget that is mostly earmarked for local school and municipal aid.
      
    As for independent Chris Daggett, who's drawing anywhere between ten and twenty percent in the polls, he insists his plan to expand the sales tax will be then offset property taxes.
      
    "They'll be a lot lower than they are today, I plan to implement that 25% property tax cut," insisted Daggett.
       
    Again, his numbers have been criticized sharply, especially by the Christie campaign, which claims overall tax bills will go up $4 billion under Daggett's plan.
      
    The two biggest polls out Monday show a split decision, Quinnipiac picking Christie, and Monmouth University going with Corzine. 

    Both, however, were within the margin of error.