New Jersey residents protest a record $2.8 billion tax increase in a statehouse demonstration sponsored by the grassroots organization Hands Across New Jersey. Demonstrators hanged Gov. Jim Florio in effigy, and thousands demanded repeal of the tax hike, the biggest in N.J. history, passed by the Legislature less than 7 months after Florio took office. The tax-increase package will be used to close a budget gap of more than $1 billion, provide $1.1 billion in new aid to schools and ease property taxes. The 4 1/2-hour rally peaked at 4,000 people with at least 10,000 attending throughout. A similar rally July 1 drew about 6,000. The governor declined an invitation to the rally at the statehouse. He said those seeking repeal have not considered the consequences. "Things would not get better, they would get dramatically worse," he said.