How Can They Stand the Taxes? NJ Gov Debate Gets Personal - NBC New York

How Can They Stand the Taxes? NJ Gov Debate Gets Personal

The candidates faced off in third debate



    Meet Four Inspiring Kids Tackling Cancer
    New Jersey gubernatorial candidates, from left, Republican Chris Christie, Independent Chris Daggett and Democrat incumbent Gov. Jon Corzine face off in their third debate.

    The last debate in New Jersey's red hot race for governor had a surprising twist.

    We found out how much each of the three main candidates pay in property taxes, in the state with the highest property taxes in the nation.

    The question on the WBGO Radio debate: "How much do you pay in property taxes and do you think what you pay is fair?"

    "I pay something in the neighborhood of $35,000, could be 36,000," said multi-millionaire Governor and Democrat Jon Corzine.

    Corzine made his fortune at Goldman Sachs, but is now a bachelor and lives in a Hoboken Condo.

    Republican Chris Christie actually pays more, although he's not nearly as wealthy as Corzine.

    Still, Christie, who lives in Mendham, is a millionaire, thanks to some astute investments several years ago. "My wife and I pay about $38,000 in property taxes per year," said Christie, who says he will cut property taxes, though admitting there is "no silver bullet."

    Then there's Independent Chris Daggett. He spent years in both the state and federal bureaucracy, rising to Regional Administrator for the EPA.

    Now, he lives in  wealthy Basking Ridge, but, he said, "My wife and I pay about $18,000 a year on our property taxes and yes it's a burden."

    Daggett, who one poll says is now at 20 percent, is proposing to expand the sales tax to services such as attorney fees, and using the money to lower property taxes.

    Christie claims it's actually a hidden $4 billion tax hike, and says he would find savings in state spending to lower both income and property taxes.

    Both Daggett and Corzine say Christie's number don't add up, and Corzine says he will keep pushing for local governments to share services and reduce costs.

    Polls say Corzine and Christie are running neck and neck, the difference between them being within the statistical margin of error.