By David Madden

TRENTON, N.J. (CBS) — New Jersey’s economic recovery has not been as robust as state forecasters had anticipated.  As a result there is a revenue shortfall, the size of which is now being debated by legislators in Trenton.

David Rosen, chief budget officer for the New Jersey legislature, pegs the shortfall at $1.3 billion — almost twice the estimate of the Christie administration.

Rosen says the mild winter is to blame, for lower natural gas tax revenue and less money coming in on income and corporate business taxes.

Still, he notes, overall revenues are up a little.

“We have only achieved half of the billion-dollar revenue growth estimated by the executive (branch) for the year that ends in five weeks,” Rosen tells KYW Newsradio.

The Christie administration puts the shortfall number at $676 million, and state treasurer Andrew Eristoff presented proposed changes in spending to make up the difference.  But he insists the governor’s three-year tax cut plan is very doable.  Others aren’t so sure.

Whatever the amount of the shortfall may be, this will affect how Christie’s proposed $32-billion budget takes shape over that time.

Democratic leaders have proposed two different property tax credits  to compete with the Christie plan, while some have suggested putting all tax cut ideas on hold.

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