Murphy admits at NJBIA that he never met a tax increase he didn’t like, Bergen says

Murphy admits at NJBIA that he never met a tax increase he didn’t like, Bergen says

TRENTON, N.J. – Assemblyman Brian Bergen said taxpayers will once again have to rescue the Democrat-controlled government from its irresponsible spending, which created the largest budget deficit since Jon Corzine was governor during the Great Recession.

New Jersey cannot sustain its deficit spending, Gov. Phil Murphy remarked to business leaders at the New Jersey Business & Industry Association forum Tuesday morning. Despite Murphy signing the state’s largest budget in history—$54.3 billion—it included a $1.5 billion gap in taxes collected for FY24, on top of massive collection shortfalls in FY23, which closed out June 30.

The governor has bragged about the state’s billion surplus; however, Murphy has allotted only $223 million of that into the state’s rainy day fund, leaving $8.2 billion to be used at Democrats’ discretion.

“It’s the holiday season, so I’ll be generous and admit the governor is right, New Jersey cannot sustain its deficit spending,” Bergen (R-Morris) said. “But, in the interest of balance, it is only fair to say that we have a structural deficit because Governor Murphy and Democrats never saw a real cut they could say yes to. Meanwhile, regular New Jerseyans must sacrifice.”

Bergen complained that despite those concerning figures, Democrats tacked on an additional $1 billion in new spending before the final FY24 budget was delivered, all without public comment and with little time for legislators to examine the 450-page document.

The stronger, fairer New Jersey the governor touts has resulted in a family of four making $95,000 annually being considered low income, as the cost of living has increased $22,750 since he took office in 2018.

“Murphy likes to say he cut taxes 18 times over the last five years, while ignoring the 60 taxes and fees he’s raised at a cost of $16.7 billion to taxpayers,” Bergen added.

Even with that gloomy fiscal outlook, Murphy told participants that he supports the expiration of corporate business tax surcharge on Dec. 31, something Democrat Senate Leader Nick Scutari has come out against in recent days, saying the state must extend it to keep NJ Transit, with an annual budget of $2.9 billion, afloat. The 2.5% surcharge jumps the state’s corporate business tax to 11.5%, the highest in the nation and the driving force behind so many businesses setting up shop in more business-friendly states like North Carolina.

“The surtax needs to sunset, but then the governor says that will exacerbate the state budget’s structural deficit. So Democrats have two choices,” Bergen said. “They can cut spending or raise taxes. Their record shows that they treat the hardworking taxpayers of New Jersey as their personal piggy bank.”