Assembly GOP leaders talk taxes, spending and Murphy’s upcoming budget

Assembly GOP leaders talk taxes, spending and Murphy’s upcoming budget

TRENTON, N.J. – Assembly Republican Leader John DiMaio and Conference Leader Christopher DePhillips denounced balancing the state budget through tax and fare hikes in advance of Gov. Phil Murphy’s seventh budget message on Thursday. A budget deficit, shrinking tax revenue, inflation and a loss of federal aid has Democrats proposing revenue-raising hikes on taxpayers, businesses and commuters.

“Republicans in the Assembly in New Jersey are not in favor of tax increases at all,” DiMaio (R-Warren) said. “The budget deficit was $1.5 billion last year. It could go up to $2 billion this year. $20 billion in additional spending in 6 budget cycles is going to hit the budget hard.”

To fill in budget holes, NJ Transit announced a 15% fare increase effective July 1 and the Murphy administration and Democrats are considering raising the sales, corporate business and gas taxes.

“Trenton has an addiction to spending and taxation. The fact that there are voices out there talking about additional new taxes is completely unconscionable,” DePhillips (R-Bergen) said. “The residents of New Jersey want to hear about spending cuts, not spending increases and not tax increases.”

New Jersey’s state budget increased from $34.6 billion in 2018 to $54.3 billion today. Last year, Democrats added $1.5 billion to the final spending plan to fund special projects.

“Spending is so high that it is making it so unaffordable in New Jersey. Families are suffering. We will call out the problems and we will fight to make sure New Jersey is more affordable,” DiMaio said.

WATCH: GOP leaders discuss Murphy’s upcoming budget message