Budget surplus should be returned to taxpayers, Wirths chides Murphy administration for dodging questions

Budget surplus should be returned to taxpayers, Wirths chides Murphy administration for dodging questions

Harold J. Wirths

TRENTON, N.J. – The Murphy administration is projecting a $7.9 billion surplus this year outside of rainy day fund deposits. That would be whittled down to $4.7 billion after it is used to cover the $3 billion deficit from spending more than revenue next year. The deficit may be as large as $8 billion if the $5 billion in non-recurring revenue in the proposed fiscal year 2022 budget is included.

Assemblyman Hal Wirths says taxpayers should receive the $4.7 billion in tax relief before tax hikes are needed to keep up with Democrats’ excessive spending in fiscal year 2023.

“The surplus should be given back to taxpayers because it is theirs to keep, and the state is already flush with cash,” said Wirths (R-Sussex), the Republican Budget Officer. “Murphy and Democrats need to stop spending more than they take from people, which is already more than justified. Especially because it will lead to more taxes when by every metric the people of New Jersey need tax relief.”

Wirths previously sent a letter to Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin and Budget Chair Eliana Pintor Marin outlining ways to shrink the deficit.

A report fosuund that New Jersey siphons an average $932,000 from residents in their lifetime, about $105,000 more than the second most expensive state – Massachusetts. That is also nearly double the amount of taxes the average American will pay.

“The bottom line is that Democrats want to tax as much as they can then keep it for themselves to buy support. Republicans want people to keep the money they earn so they don’t need to struggle to make ends meet. Somehow Democrats haven’t noticed the cause of that problem is taxes increase the cost of living,” said Wirths. “The surplus should be used to cut taxes, whether by increasing school aid, decreasing payroll taxes, increasing the earned income tax credit, cutting taxes for small businesses struggling to recover, or any other way that puts money in people’s pockets.

“Unfortunately, Murphy and Democrats frankly don’t care about what anyone else has to say because they hold all the cards. They won’t even answer simple questions even though they claim to be ready and willing. The pretense of helping people and transparency is astounding.”

Yesterday at 12:30 p.m. Republican members of the Assembly Budget Committee sent a letter to Gov. Phil Murphy and Treasurer Elizabeth Muoio asking questions about the revenue update sent yesterday and how they plan to use the money, among other questions.

The members asked for a response to the questions within 24 hours, writing that was “ample time considering these questions would have been asked directly.” No response has been given despite purported readiness.

A spokesperson from Treasury said yesterday “[t]he administration, as always, stands ready to continue answering any and all questions from the budget committee, their staff, OLS, and the press.”

“This budget is a sham and taxpayers will rue the day Democrats passed it,” concluded Wirths.