TRENTON - Gov. Corzine said yesterday that property-tax rebates for homeowners and renters could become a casualty of the faltering economy.

Asked whether he'd consider cutting rebates to help balance next year's budget, he said he could offer no guarantees amid a dismal economic forecast and a projected state budget shortfall between $2.5 billion and $4 billion.

Corzine made the comments after New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced last week that $400 rebates for homeowners there would be discontinued.

"That's a decision we'll have to take for the next budget as opposed to this year since we've already distributed the rebates," Corzine said. "It's not really an open question for this budget season; it happens to be for his."

- AP