Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Christie Plans To Steal Unused Gift Cards In NJ

Wow - the governor with the big mouth and the even bigger ego just won't stop his power and money grabs.

This time he and the Jersey legislature cooked up a scheme to take unused gift card money:

A federal judge has put a temporary stop to New Jersey's plan to generate up to $80 million from unused gift cards, calling cards and money orders.

To help balance the state budget this summer, lawmakers passed a bill allowing the state to claim proceeds of gift cards purchased in New Jersey if customers don't use them within two years. The state would claim funds from inactive travelers' checks and money orders after three years.

The new law was to go into effect earlier this week, but over the weekend U.S. District Court Judge Freda Wolfson issued a temporarily restraining order keeping it from being enforced until a hearing can be held.

Gov. Chris Christie will have to come up with $80 million elsewhere if the law is struck down.

Treasury spokesman Bill Quinn said the administration was reviewing the ruling. Quinn said no estimate was available on how much money the state would miss out on while the court has the law on hold.

Several companies challenged the constitutionality of the new law, including the American Express Travel Related Services Co., the New Jersey Retail Merchants Association, the New Jersey Food Council and American Express Prepaid Card Management Corp.

John Holub, president of the New Jersey Retail Merchants Association, said the new law posed a serious administrative burden to businesses and potential problems for consumers.

Currently, if a gift card goes unused, the issuing business keeps the money. Under the new law, the state could collect the money after the waiting period.

Christie's appetites for other people's money knows no bounds.

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