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Sandy Aid Hit Would Undermine NJ Governor's Budget

"There are billions of dollars coming from the federal government," he added. "The administration has as a top priority dealing with the gaps, the gaps in insurance coverage, the gaps in people's ability to elevate their houses and what they can afford they're getting from insurance, another key gap is property tax gaps."

With less Sandy money to go around, municipalities already reeling from the storm could be squeezed further.

New Jerseyans pay the highest property taxes in the country, averaging $7,870 per household. The Division of Local Government Services estimated last month that up to 25 municipalities lost at least 5 percent of their tax base to Sandy.

Bill Holland, executive director of New Jersey Working Families Alliance, said New Jersey was unprepared financially to deal with an emergency like the superstorm because Christie has given $2 billion in tax breaks to corporations and allowed a tax surcharge on millionaires to expire during his first three years in office.

Holland said he expects to hear "more of the same" on Tuesday, but would like the governor to address New Jersey's continuingly high unemployment rate and a reversal of the state's failure to adequately invest in higher education.

Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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