Saturday, November 1st, 2014

New Jersey tax, lottery revenues focus of weekend rulings on Truth-O-Meter

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Gov. Chris Christie talks to NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams on Oct. 30.

Money coming into and going out of New Jersey was the focus of weekend fact-checks on PolitiFact New Jersey’s Truth-O-Meter.

In case you missed it, Gov. Chris Christie and a campaign known as Big Gamble NJ each received Mostly True rulings on their respective claims about funding from the federal government and what programs benefit from New Jersey Lottery revenues.

Christie claim

The governor said in an Oct. 30 interview with NBC Nightly News host Brian Williams that New Jersey receives the lowest amount of money for what it sends in federal taxes to Washington, D.C.

The Tax Foundation, a business-backed group, tracked how much the federal government collected through taxes and returned through expenditures to states annually from 1981 to 2005. New Jersey was last among the states for 17 of those 25 years. For 2005, the Garden State received 61 cents for every $1 it sent the federal government.

A report by the Northeast-Midwest Institute, a research organization based in Washington that promotes 18 states in the region, looked at 2009 and ranked New Jersey 48th in the nation for amount of money returned that year.

Big Gamble NJ claim

This campaign on Nov. 13 claimed the state-run lottery sent $930 million to New Jersey classrooms in 2011. The Communication Workers of America, a union representing lottery workers, and the Asian American Retailers Association, a group representing convenience and liquor stores and gas stations, created the Big Gamble NJ campaign to oppose a state plan to contract with a private company to manage the lottery’s sales and marketing. Both organizations claim the move would hurt taxpayers and small business.

PolitiFact New Jersey checked the lottery figures with the state and found that about 75 percent of the $930 million went to education costs, with the rest going to social service programs.

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