HACKENSACK, N.J. – Following an invitation-only budget roundtable for elected Bergen County officials at Fairleigh Dickinson University’s Metropolitan Campus, Assemblymen Christopher P. DePhillips and Kevin J. Rooney slammed the Murphy administration’s runaway spending and tax increases.
“We can’t have any meaningful discussion around this budget without addressing spending cuts and tax cuts,” said DePhillips (R-Bergen). “Moreover, Trenton should be required to live within a two percent spending cap, just like every municipality in our state.”
Compared to Former-Gov. Chris Christie’s final budget of $34.7 billion, Gov. Murphy has increased budget spending by over 11 percent or $3.9 billion. In addition, taxes have been raised by $2.25 billion since Murphy took office.
“This budget calls for $560 million more in taxes to fund programs the state simply cannot afford,” said Rooney (R-Bergen). “New Jersey is in the worst fiscal position in the entire nation and yet the runaway spending and tax hikes continue. The proposed budget completely ignores the concerns of the middle class and will exacerbate New Jersey’s affordability crisis.”
Nearly half the public (45 percent) name property taxes when asked to identify the most important issues facing New Jersey, far surpassing any other issue on the top of residents’ minds, according to a Monmouth University poll. New Jerseyans pay the highest property taxes in the nation.
More than 50 percent of property taxes paid statewide goes to fund schools and in some municipalities, school taxes can be up to 80 percent of a property tax bill. Despite an additional $206 million allocated for state K-12 aid in the proposed budget, the school funding formula is still underfunded by approximately $1 billion. In addition, Murphy’s proposed budget actually decreases funding to two major property tax relief programs, the homestead benefit and the senior freeze, by $18.3 million.
The state’s departmental budget hearings continue in Trenton next week.