TRENTON, N.J. – Assembly Republican Leader John DiMaio has been critical of the budget, and again pointed out that the state budget is full of tax relief gimmicks and unsustainable spending as Gov. Phil Murphy signed the $50.6 billion fiscal year 2023 budget.
“Governor Murphy likes to say this budget makes New Jersey stronger, fairer and more affordable. But the budget is bigger and fatter and taxpayers are leaner and poorer,” said DiMaio (R-Warren). “Any tax relief doesn’t happen until next year, which means people have 11 more months to fend off inflation by themselves. Real tax relief is immediate and permanent by lowering rates. In the fall, people won’t be able to afford to heat their homes. This budget doesn’t do anything to help them.”
The budget includes a revamped property tax rebate program that will send out checks in May 2023, and a child tax credit that won’t help families until 2024. Republicans offered amendments to make the child tax credits larger, more expansive and immediate, which Democrats rejected for a second time in three days. The amendments were first offered in the Assembly Budget Committee Monday.
The budget also spends over $250 million more than revenue despite unprecedented tax receipts and the possibility of recession in the fiscal year. A record surplus is also left out of the “rainy day” fund, which means it can be spent on anything at any time instead of replacing lost revenue if a recession does hit the economy. That could lead to more tax increases. Democrats have already passed 60 tax hikes since Murphy took office.
“It also isn’t fiscally responsible as Democrats claim,” DiMaio pointed out. “Anybody who spends more than they have isn’t being financially responsible. That isn’t any different for government. Yesterday we heard a lot about symbolism from the majority, but symbolism doesn’t help anybody. The people of New Jersey are worse off with this budget.”