LONG BRANCH, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie says recent bad economic news in the state makes the need for a tax cut “even more urgent.”

Christie said Monday that cutting taxes would make New Jersey more competitive with neighboring states.

The governor and legislative leaders disagree over whether New Jersey can afford to give residents a 10 percent tax break that would be phased in over three years.

Reports last week showed tax collections are $100 million below projections for the first two months of the fiscal year and unemployment was 9.9 percent for August.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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