TRENTON, N.J. – Gov. Phil Murphy began his press conference Wednesday citing the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities estimates of nationwide state-revenue losses totaling over $550 million. Assemblyman John DiMaio pointed to another report by the same group outlining how borrowing is not “a viable, legally permissible, or prudent strategy for closing states’ deep budget gaps.”
“Governor Murphy’s solution to the state’s revenue shortfall is worse than the shortfall,” said DiMaio (R-Warren). “He is right that we need federal aid. Any option that burdens taxpayers more long-term shouldn’t be considered and the state shouldn’t be able to continue functioning in a way that put us in the worst fiscal condition in the country in the first place.”
DiMaio proposed an alternative plan that would work with the federal government to help replenish state revenues while providing a tax cut to the middle-class. He sent a message to Murphy’s office last week, but the administration has not responded.
“I think Governor Murphy is doing his best, but he needs to recognize that New Jersey can do better than what he is asking,” continued DiMaio. “Obviously, the U.S. Senate won’t pass state aid. The governor needs to try another angle and I have provided him one if he is interested.”
Under the plan, states work with Congress to develop an income tax form that would allow Americans to file only state taxes at federal rates. The plan also has two requirements: only those under a certain income file the form to target the middle-class and states enact reforms to lower costs and help avoid such dire fiscal circumstances during future events.
“Republicans prefer tax cuts that put money directly into pockets and bank accounts instead of federal spending. That is a better offer for the Senate,” stated DiMaio. “My plan achieves Governor Murphy’s objectives and helps the people who are struggling. He should take the win-win I provided.”
New Jersey’s income tax is dedicated to property tax relief, allowing the state to fully fund schools, pension obligations, property tax relief, and municipal aid – all of which Murphy has threatened would be budgetary casualties without federal aid or borrowing.