Casino, park shutdowns loom amid emergency budget session in Trenton

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Governor Jon Corzine (D-NJ) and lawmakers failed to hash out their differences during a special budget meeting Tuesday, making a further shutdown of government services likely.

Corzine began the day with a speech to lawmakers in which he continued to push for a 1 percent state sales tax increase. By raising the tax from 6 percent to 7 percent, Corzine hopes to close the $4.5 billion gap in the budget. However, Republicans and lawmakers in Corzine's own party are against the tax hike.

Corzine ordered the government shutdown on July 1 after all parties failed to agree on a spending plan by the constitutional deadline. If there's no budget agreement by Tuesday night, all state parks will be closed Wednesday morning. Casinos would also be forced to close Wednesday morning unless an agreement is reached.

The governor says he was willing to compromise and agree to a plan that would split the sales tax revenue between budget balancing and property tax relief. However, any compromise including a sales tax hike has been rejected by opponents.

Click here to view video of what the mayors of Jersey City and Hoboken had to say about the government shutdown. Related Information Click here to Sound Off! on the NJ government shutdown NJ taxpayers brace for financial backlash over government shutdown

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