Chris Christie said Monday that he is expected to propose a new tax to pay the cost of websites for local governments.
Christie will be presenting his proposed tax proposal at the Statehouse Tuesday, where he will also be introducing legislation to create an “internet tax credit” for municipalities that can pay for internet infrastructure.
The website design tax would help pay for a number of infrastructure projects, including a major new fiber optic network for schools, the state’s largest new internet-connected building, and the creation of a new $1.4 billion broadband network for rural areas.
Christie’s proposal also includes a $1 billion tax credit to help cities fund broadband projects, according to a spokesman for the governor.
In the meantime, the Christie administration is planning to hire more than 100 people to help local governments pay for the Internet.
It is expected that the tax could raise $1 to $3 billion over the next two years.
The proposal was released Monday, two weeks before Christie will face a potential recall election, which could further damage his popularity.
The tax would be the first time in New Jersey history that the state has been asked to contribute a portion of local governments’ internet infrastructure, according a spokesman.
In May, Christie vetoed legislation that would have required local governments to contribute the equivalent of 5 percent of their budgets to internet infrastructure projects.
The bill had been scheduled to go to the governor’s desk for his signature, but the governor vetoed it after it was brought up in a state Senate committee.
The governor’s office has said he wants to continue funding the internet infrastructure as it is, but this would be a change.
Christie is expected Tuesday to unveil his tax proposal, along with a $5 million plan to create a new internet tax credit program.
In addition to the tax, the administration is considering other funding sources for internet projects.
In a letter to Christie, state Senator David Norris said that he was working with other lawmakers to find a way to make that happen.
The letter from Norris to Christie also includes proposals to create $50 million in grants to help fund broadband and internet infrastructure and $1 million for state agencies to expand online training.
Norris said the state would use $1 per month for internet training, and $50 per month to fund internet projects that don’t require state funding.
The state is also looking at other funding, including for a new state lottery system.
Christie and Norris have said that they plan to hold a public hearing on the proposal at 3 p.m.
Tuesday at the statehouse.
The measure has not been formally introduced, but Christie is considering signing the bill into law before Tuesday’s hearing.
In June, Christie signed a bill that included the creation, operation and maintenance of an internet tax subsidy program that would help municipalities get the money to create the new fiber optics network for the state, as well as create a funding incentive program to encourage local governments across the state to build internet infrastructure that could compete with the internet-focused networks of the major internet providers.
The program would also create an online scholarship program to help students build their resumes and skills.
The law also creates a tax credit of $1 for each $1 invested in infrastructure projects that would be built in New York City and the Bronx, New Jersey, the Newark area, the Westchester County, Long Island and Orange County, as of Jan. 1, 2019.
The New York Times has reported that Christie is looking to expand the tax credit for internet-based businesses to the state of New York, and he is also considering the creation and operation of a tax-exempt corporation that would fund the tax credits.
New Jersey has the third highest tax burden in the nation, with a combined $1,842,917 per capita.
The Statehouse website states that the website design taxes could generate an additional $1 or more for every $1 spent on infrastructure, though Christie has not provided details on what the tax would amount to.
Associated Press writer Eric Tucker contributed to this report.